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SERMONS 
BYolHUGH 
I5ATIAAER 

SOJVIETIME 
BlSMOPcM, OF 
WORCESTER 



AMS PRESS 

NEW YORK 




Reprinted from a copy in the collection 
of The University of Michigan Library 



Reprinted from the edition of 1906, London & New York 
First AMS edition published 1971 

Manufactured in the United States of America 

International Standard Book Number: 0-404-03886-7 

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 76-172301 



AMS PRESS INC. 

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10003 



INTRODUCTION 



Latimer is the best example the English Church can show of 
the popular preacher. The sermons of Andrevves or Donne make 
their appeal to a trained intelligence which can " divide," even to 
the last scruple, " the word of truth " ; Latimer, whether he is preach- 
ing in a country town or before the king at Westminster, always 
speaks so that the servants and handmaids shall carry away as 
much as the gentler sort. He has but one subject, that of right- 
eousness, and the appeal of righteousness is not to the intellect, 
but to the conscience. 

This is not to say that Latimer was himself unlearned. As 
a young man he was elected fellow of his college (Clare Hall) 
at Cambridge, and was one of twelve preachers licensed by the 
University to preach in any part of England. When his university 
suspected him of the Lutheran heresy, and he was summoned 
before Wolsey, he is said to have shown himself more at home 
in Duns Scotus than Wolsey's chaplains, who were set to e.xamine 
him. It is probable that he was not deeply versed in the New 
Learning, being born a little too early for that. The year 1510, 
in which Erasmus went to Cambridge to teach Greek, was the 
year in which Latimer took his degree, and we know that at 
first the new professor found but few pupils. 

The story of Latimer's first attraction to the Reformed doctrines 
is told by himself in the first sermon on the Lord's Prayer : 

Master Bilney, or rather Saint Bilney, that suffered death for God's 
word sake, the same Bilney was the instrument whereby God called 
me to knowledge ; for I may thank him, next to God, for that knowledge 
that I have in the word of God. For I was as obstinate a papist as 
any was in England, insomuch that when I should be made bachelor 
of divinity, my whole oration went against Philip Melancthon and against 



viii Introduction 

his opinions. Bilney heard me at that time, and perceived that I was 
zealous without knowledge ; and he came to me afterward in my study, 
and desired me, for God's sake, to hear his confession. I did so : and, 
to say the truth, by his confession I learned more than before in many 
years. So from that time forward I began to smell the word of God, 
and forsook the school-doctors and such fooleries. 

This was in 1524, and already the next year we find that he 
had become suspected of favouring ,what in his bachelor's thesis 
he had attacked ; for his diocesan, Bishop West of Ely, came 
up "suddenly and secretly" to Cambridge to hear a Latin sermon 
he was to preach ad clerum, and entered the church with un- 
episcopal astuteness after the sermon was begun. But for once 
the greatest diplomatist of his age was overmatched. With 
extraordinary readiness Latimer changed his text, and preached 
a sermon extempore from the text Christus existens Pontifex 
futurorum boftorum, " A new auditory requireth a new theme, 
therefore it behoveth me to entreat of the honourable office of a 
bishop." The bishop thanked Latimer for his "good sermon," 
and asked him to preach against Martin Luther's doctrine. To 
which Latimer very fairly replied that he could not refute what 
he was prohibited from reading. It is ill setting one's wits against 
authority ; and according to Cranmer's secretary Morice, from 
whom this story comes, the bishop, who had the last word, replied, 
" I perceive that you somewhat smell of the pan, Mr. Latymer ; 
you will repent this gear some day." He was inhibited by the 
bishop from preaching in the university, but continued to use 
the church of the Austin Friars, which, was extra-diocesan. It 
was on occasion of this dispute that Wolsey interfered and had 
Latimer examined, with the result that he licensed him to preach 
anywhere in England. 

Of the Cambridge period we have two sermons preserved, those 
on the Card, preached about 1 529, which raise the question what 
it was that the Bishop of Ely and the party of the Old Learning 
found to complain of in Latimer's preaching. The answer of 
course is that here, as in all theological controversies, it was not 
the heresy, but the heretic, that was attacked. The sermons only 
"smelt of the pan." They disparaged " voluntary works " — church- 
building, pilgrimages, gilding of saints, and so forth, not absolutely, 
but in comparison with " necessary works " of righteousness and 
mercy. Still it is not prudent for the clergy to disparage works of 



Introduction ix 

popular religion. Responsible rulers must " doubt whereunto 
this will grow." The conceit of comparing the Commandments to 
playing-cards is not to our modern taste ; but Latimer was wise 
in his generation and knew what he was doing. Probably by 
such a trick he caught the ear of the undergraduates of the day, who 
were younger then than now. It is interesting to compare these 
early sermons of Latimer's with the almost contemporary sermons 
of Bishop Fisher. In reading Fisher there rises to memory the 
wonderfully beautiful and suffering face that we know from 
Holbein's drawing, a face that is certainly not of the world. And 
the sermons also are not of the world. They are full of a sense 
of the hollowness of all earthly satisfaction ; but they do not 
strike us as showing any acquaintance at first hand with what 
they despise and renounce. In one place, for example, comment- 
ing on the text " Can a woman forget her sucking child ? " Fisher 
lays down that "the affection of fathers is longer-during than 
that of mothers." Throughout we feel the lessons to be a little 
too abstract, the similes a little forced, the examples conventional ; 
although there is no mistaking the passion of the preacher. Now, 
whatever we may think of Latimer's divinity, about his humanity 
there can be no manner of doubt. From the first his sermons 
display a quite remarkable insight into the working of the human 
mind and will. In the second Sermon on the Card, on the words, 
" Go first and reconcile thy neighbour," he has this penetrating 
counsel : 

Be not ashamed to do thy Master's and Lord's will and commandment. 
Go, as I said, unto thy neighbour that is offended by thee, and reconcile 
him whom thou hast lost by thy unkind words, by thy scorns, mocks, and 
other disdainous words and behaviours, and be not nice to ask of him 
the cause why he is displeased with thee : require of him charitably to 
remit ; and ceasp not till you both depart, one from the other, true 
brethren in Christ. Come not to thy neighbour whom thou hast offended, 
and give him a pennyworth of ale, or a banquet, and so make him a fair 
countenance, thinking that by thy drink or dinner he will shew thee 
like countenance. I grant you may both laugh and make good cheer, 
and yet there may remain a bag of rusty malice, twenty years old, in thy 
neighbour's bosom. 

The topic which aroused the bitter resentment of his clerical 
brethren, the disparagement of voluntary works, introduced into 



X Introduction 

this sermon as an illustration of the text " leave there thy 
oblation," forms no small part of Latimer's practical teaching 
from first to last. He saw that religion had come to be identified 
in the popular mind with certain observances, none of which had 
any necessary connexion with the " weightier matters of the law." 
As against this view of religion, as a system of merely ecclesiastical 
duties, he is always endeavouring to recall men's interest to the 
fundamental verities of righteousness and rnercy. 

While they thus preached to the people, that dead images not only 
ought to be covered with gold, but also ought of all faithful and christian 
people, (yea, in this scarceness and penury of all things,) to be clad with 
silk garments, and those also laden with precious gems and jewels ; and to 
be lighted with wax candles, as who should say, here no cost can be too 
great ; whereas in the meantime we see Christ's faithful and lively 
images, bought with no less price than with his most precious blood, 
(alas, alas I) to be an hungred, a-thirst, a-cold, and to lie in darkness, 
wrapped in all wretchedness, yea, to lie there till death take away their 
miseries.^ 

For a while after his triumph over the Bishop of Ely Latimer's 
enemies had to possess their souls in patience, because, having 
taken the king's side in the matter of the divorce, he was in 
high favour at court. He was one of twelve Cambridge divines 
appointed with twelve from Oxford as a Royal Commission to 
examine heretical books. Among the books they condemned was 
Tyndale's Bible. The accession of Anne Boleyn brought him the 
bishopric of Worcester, which he held for four years ; doing his 
best during that period for the reform of abuses, especially making 
a crusade againgst the popular images — " our great Sibyl, with her 
old sister of Walsingham, her young sister of Ipswich, with their two 
other sisters of Doncaster and Penrice," but resigning his see when 
the Statute of the Six Articles was passed (1539), which made him 
a heretic. It is said that the king saved him from the stake only 
on the direct intercession of Cromwell. But even when highest 
in favour he must have realised, as every good man who served 
the King had sooner or later to realise, how little the Supreme Head 
of the Church of Christ in England cared for the lives of any of 
its members. As early as 1531, and again in 1532, he was accused 
of heresy in Convocation ; and though he appealed to the king, 

* Sermon before the Convocation, 1536. (See p. 33,) 



Introduction xi 

Henry refused to interfere, and Latimer escaped the heretic's fate 
only by a full recantation. Among the articles he was compelled 
to sign are such as these : There is a place of purgatory. Souls 
in purgatory are helped by masses and alms-deeds. Pilgrimages 
and oblations are meritorious. It is profitable to invocate saints. 
Images are profitable. It is profitable for them to be decked and 
trimmed and to have candles set before them. His opinion on 
these matters is well set out in a letter to Archbishop Warham 
of the same year : " I have never preached anything contrary to 
the truth, nor contrary to the decrees of the Fathers, nor as far 
as I know contrary to the Catholic faith. I have desired, I own, 
and do desire, a reformation in the judgment of the vulgar, that 
they should distinguish between duties ; that all men should know 
that there is a very great difference between those works which 
God hath prepared for each of us (zealously discharging the duties 
of our respective callings) to walk in, and those that are voluntary, 
which we undertake by our own state and pleasure. It is lawful, 
I own, to make use of images, to go on pilgrimage, to pray to 
saints, to be mindful of souls abiding in purgatory ; but these 
things, which are voluntary, are to be so moderated that God's 
commandments of necessary obligation, which bring eternal life 
to those that keep them, and eternal death to those that neglect 
them, be not deprived of their just value." The only one of these 
topics that calls for any particular comment is that of purgatory : 
what was Latimer's belief about it ? Latimer's attack upon 
purgatory took the form, at first and in the main, of denying the 
Pope's claim to deliver from it, which had been made so profitable 
a source of revenue. He calls it, again and again, " purgatory 
pick-purse." It was only by degrees that he came to renounce a 
belief in purgatory altogether, and even in his latest sermons he is 
not consistent with himself. In one he says distinctly, " You must 
understand that there are but two places appointed of Almighty 
God for all mankind, that is, heaven and hell " i ; in another he 
allows that he did not know the answer to the question where 
the soul of the young maid, the ruler's daughter, was, after it went 
out of her ; "but where it pleased God it should be, there it was. 
If the Bishop of Rome had gone no further we should have been 
well enough."* His earlier view is well set out in the answer 
he drew up to some articles " untruly, unjustly, falsely, uncharitably 

' Sermon on Fifth Sunday after Epiphany, Feb. 1552, Park, Soc. ii. 191, 
" Sermon of same year, Park. Soc. i. 550. 



xii Introduction 

imputed to me by Dr. Powell of Salisbury." * One of these 
articles is that "there is no purgatory after this life." This 
Latimer shews to have been a misunderstanding ; his doctrine had 
been that the souls in purgatory have less need of our prayers, as 
being " always in charity," than we have of theirs, " We may 
well pray for them, and they much better for us ; which they will 
do of their charity, though we desire them not." But the con- 
clusion of the whole matter for him was that too much attention 
to souls in purgatory, " who are in God's favour and have Christ 
with them,'' diverted attention from souls on earth, who might be 
in extreme necessity. 

We see not who needeth in purgatory ; but we see who needeth in 
this world. And John saith, " If thou see thy brother, and help him 
not, how is the charity of God in thee ? " Here we be bound to help ohe 
another, as we would be holpen ourselves, under pain of damnation. 
Here, for lack, of help, we may murmur and grudge against God, 
dishonour God, foredote ourselves : which inconveniences shall not follow 
if we do our duty one to another. I am sure the souls in purgatory be 
so charitable, and of charity so loth to have God dislionoured, that 
they would have nothing withdrawn from the poor here in this world 
to be bestowed upon them. Therefore, howsoever we do for purgatory, 
let us provide to keep out of hell. I would have difference betwixt that 
that 7nay be done, and that that ought to be done ; and this to go before 
that, and that to come after this.- 

When Protestantism was set up with the accession of Edward 
VI., Latimer did not return to his bishopric, but lodged with 
Cranmer at Lambeth, and devoted himself to preaching. His 
Swiss servant Bernher, who edited some of his sermons, tells 
us that he preached twice every Sunday during King Edward's 
reign. The first of these sermons, " preached in the Shrouds 
at Paul's Cross," i.e. in a sheltered place where the sermons 

' Dr. Powell, prebendary of Salisbury, a theologian of great learning, 
who had been engaged by the king to write against Luther, had preached, 
with others, against Latimer for his sermons at Bristol in 1533. A com- 
mission was appointed to inquire into the dispute, and Dr. Powell was 
sent to the Tower. He was executed in 1540, among that famous si.x at 
Smithfield, three hanged, drawn, and quartered for treason, in denying the 
king's supremacy, and three burned for heresy. See Dixon's History of the 
Church of England, li. 245-253. 

" Park. Soc. ii. 237. 



Introduction xiii 

were held in bad weather, is the only one that has survived 
of a course on " the plough." It is mainly directed against 
" unpreaching prelates," and contains the memorable saying 
that the devil is " never out of his diocese." 

" Circuit" he goeth about in every corner of his diocese : he goeth 
on visitation daily : he leaveth no place of his cure unvisited ; he walketh 
round about from place to place, and ceaseth not. 

But the sermon contains one passage which was to be the 
precursor of many such in future — a cry to London to repent of 
its covetousness. " Charity is waxen cold, none helpeth the scholar 
nor yet the poor." In the first sermon of the Lent following, 
preached before the king, he returns to the subject in regard to 
rural England. The dissolution of the monasteries had meant 
the destruction of the monastic schools, with their free education. 
It had meant also the transference of the manors to lay landlords 
who were disposed to exact the uttermost farthing of rent ; and 
also to enclose the commons. Moreover, the development of 
the wool trade encouraged them to lay down their estates in 
pasture ; and this threw a large number of the labourers out of 
employment, and filled the towns with beggars. On all these topics 
— upon which, himself the son of a Leicestershire yeoman, he 
could speak from experience — Latimer probes the consciences of 
his courtly hearers. In these sermons before King Edward we 
have one of the most vivid pictures of the age. Here, for 
example, is a striking contrast between the old times and the new : 

My father was a yeoman, and had no lands of his own, only he had 
a farm of three or four pound by year at the uttermost, and hereupon he 
tilled so much as kept half a dozen men. He had walk for a hundred 
sheep ; and my mother milked thirty kine. He was able, and did find 
the king a harness, with himself and his horse. . . . He kept me to 
school, or else I had not been able to have preached before the king's 
majesty now. He married my sisters with five pound or twenty nobles 
apiece ; so that he brought them up in godliness and fear of God. He 
kept hospitality for his poor neighbours, and some alms he gave to the 
poor. And all this he did of the said farm, where he that now hath it 
payeth sixteen pound by year, or more, and is not able to do anything 
for his prince, for himself, nor for his children, or give a cup of drink 
to the poor. 

On one topic, as became his office, Latimer was urgent : that 



xiv Introduction 

maintenance should be found for poor scholars at school and the 
universities, so that they might recruit the ranks of the preachers. 
" Is this realm," he asks, " taught by rich men's sons ? No, no, 
read the Chronicles. Ye shall find sometime noblemen's sons 
which have been unpreaching bishops and prelates : but ... by 
yeomen's sons the faith of Christ is, and hath been, maintained 
chiefly." The name of Edward VI. is still held in pious memory 
for the schools he founded ; but it Ts forgotten that those he 
founded, or refounded, were but a fraction of those that were 
suppressed by the merciless confiscation of the property of the 
Guilds. Preaching at Stamford in 1550, Latimer says: "To 
•consider that hath been plucked from abbeys, colleges, and 
chantries, it is marvel no more to be bestowed upon this holy 
office of salvation. Schools are not maintained ; scholars have 
not exhibition ; the preaching office decayeth." And he asks his 
hearers, in another place, "to bestow as much in the feeding of 
scholars of good wits, of poor men'^ sons, as ye were wont to 
bestow in pilgrimage matters, in trentals, in masses, in pardons, 
in purgatory matters." But not only do agriculture and education 
come within the scope of this denouncer of covetousness ; he has 
a word for the judge who takes bribes : and having in the 
third sermon before King Edward told the tale of Cambyses 
flaying an unjust judge and covering the judgment seat with 
his skin, he recurs to this again and again. " It were a goodly 
sign, this of the judge's skin. I pray God we may once see 
the sign of the skin in England." ' He has a word also for the 
receiver of fraudulent commissions, and the adulterating manu- 
facturer. On the text "Thy wine is mingled with water" he 
comments: " Here he meddleth with vintners ; belike there were 
brewers in those days as there be now. ... I hear say there is 
a certain cunning come up in mixing of wares. How say you ? were 
it no wonder to hear that cloth-makers should become poticaries ? 
Yea, and (as I hear say) in such a place, where as they have 
professed the gospel and the word of God most earnestly of 
a long time." And he goes on to explain the mystery of flock- 
powder.- To all classes he is a faithful monitor. " The servant 
who has his whole wages and does but half his work, or is a 
sluggard, that same fellow is a thief before God." The fearless- 

' See the curious reference to the "silver bason and ewer" in the Last 
Sermon before King Edward (p. 225). 

* Third Sermon before King Edward (p. ix3). 



Introduction xv 

ness of Latimer was one of his marked characteristics. The man 
who had his trunk packed ready to start when the pursuivant 
came to summon him to a trial that could have no issue but 
the stake was not the man to be daunted by kings or mobs. When 
he first came into favour with Henry VIII. by his judgment 
about the divorce, and thus for a moment quieted his enemies, 
the first thing he must do is to remonstrate with the king in 
a Lent sermon for ordering that his horses should be pastured 
on abbey lands, "abbeys being ordained for the comfort of the 
poor." His sermon before the Convocation of 1536, of which 
we have only a translation, recalls in its boldness the great sermon 
of Colet, a quarter of a century before. He said as strong things 
many times afterwards about unpreaching prelates ; but that was 
in the reign of Edward, when he was safe. Under Henry he 
was never safe. 

There is no need to make the attempt to sum up Latimer's 
characteristics as a preacher. A single page of any sermon shews 
the whole man, in his simplicity, his directness, his burning zeal, 
his humanity, his quaint terms, his garrulousness. His sermons 
were talked ; and as they were expected to last for a couple 
of hours, hiiihorous relief was very welcome to both preacher 
and hearer. No preacher had so inexhaustible a stock of merry 
tales — not the cut-and-dried moralised anecdotes of the Gesta 
Romanorum, but incidents that he had noted in his busy life 
among the people. A good example will be found in the third 
sermon before Edward VI. Now and then he does not disdain 
what we should call a "Joe Miller," as when he tells of the 
gentlewoman who went to St. Thomas of Acres to the sermon, 
because she "never failed of a good nap there." Frequently he 
illustrates from his own personal history — as the question of 
giving tribute to Caesar, by an examination he had to undergo 
before the bishop.^ If the modern reader is inclined to, resent 
the occasional homeliness of the vocabulary as beneath the dignity 
of the pulpit — as when it is said that the covetous man's mind is 
" on his half-penny " ; or when the preacher quotes a proverb " of 
my country : They say when they call the hogs to the swine- 
trough, 'Come to thy mingle-mangle, come pur, come pur'"; 
or when he paraphrases A^um et vos seducii estis? by '' What, 
ye brain-sick fools, ye hoddy-pecks, ye doddy-pouls, ye huddes, 
are you seduced also?" — it is well to remember that the final 
' Sermon preached at Stamford (p. 256). 



XVI Introduction 

cause of the pulpit is not the dignity of the preacher, but the 
instruction of the hearer, and that before a man can hear he 
must be drawn to listen. Moreover, in these days of universal 
education we cannot appreciate the ignorance of the simple 
people in Latimer's day. It may be brought home to us by 
the concluding passage of the sermon at Stamford in which 
Latimer tells us that he made a habit of reciting the Lord's 
prayer before and after every sermon, as he found so many 
poor people did not know it. 



LIST OF WORKS BY HUGH LATIMER 



Concio quam habuit . . . pater H. Latimer, epus Worcestrie 
ia couetu spiritualiu nono Junii, ante inchoatione Parlamenti 
celebrati anno 28 . . . Regis Henrici octaui. Southwarke, 1537. 

H. Latimeri . . . oratio, apud totum Ecclesiasticoru coventum, 
. . . de Regni statu per Evangelium reformando. Basileae, 1537. 

A notable Sermo [on Rom. xv. 4]. 1548. 

The fyrste (. . . seuenth) Sermon [1549] of Mayster Hughe 
Latimer, preached before the Kynges Maiesty at Westminster 
MDXLix. Arber, " English Reprints," 1868, etc. 

A most faithful! Sermo preached before the Kynges most 
excellente Maiestye. 1550. 

A Sermon [on Matt. xxii. 21] preached at Stamford the ix. day 
of Oct. anno mccccc. and fyftie. 1550. 

Twenty-seven Sermons preached by . . . 1562, 

FrutefuU Sermons. 1571, 1575, 1578, 1584, 1596, 1607, 1635. 

The Sermons of Master H. L., many of which were preached 
before King Edward VL To which is prefixed Bishop L.'s 
Life. 1758. 

The Sermons of H. L, now first arranged according to the 
order of time in which they were preached. A memoir of the 
Bishop by John Watkins. 1824, 

Sermons and Remains of Hugh Latimer. Ed. Parker Society. 

1844-5- 
(Including Letters to Lord Cromwell and others, Injuactions 
to the Clergy, Disputation at Oxford, etc.) 



SERMONS ON THE CARD 

The Tenor and Effect of Certain Sermons made by Master^ 
Latimer in Cambridge, about the year of our Lord 1529. 

Tu quis es ? Which words are as much to say in Englishj 
" Who art thou ? " These be the words of the Pharisees, 
which were sent by the Jews unto St John Baptist in the 
wilderness, to have knowledge of him who he was : which 
words they spake unto him of an evil intent, thinking that 
he would have taken on him to be Christ, and so they 
would have had him done with their good wills, because they 
knew that he was more carnal, and given to their laws, than 
Christ indeed should be, as they perceived by their old 
prophecies ; and also, because they marvelled much of his 
great doctrine, preaching, and baptizing, they were in doubt 
whether he was Christ or not : wherefore they said unto him, 
" Who art thou ? " Then answered St John, and confessed 
that he was not Christ. 

Now here is to be noted the great and prudent answer 
of St John Baptist unto the Pharisees, that when they re- 
quired of him who he was, he would not directly aniswer of 
himself what he was himself, but he said he was not Christ : 
by the which saying he thought to put the Jews and Pharisees 
out of their false opinion and belief towards him, in that 
they would have had him to exercise the office of Christ ; 
and so declared further unto them of Christ, saying,' " He is 
in the midst of you and amongst you, whom ye know not, 
whose latchet of his shoe I am not worthy to unloose, or 
undo." By this you may perceive that St John spake much 
in the laud and praise of Christ his Master, professing him- 
self to be in no wise like unto him. So likewise it shall be 
necessary unto all men and women of this world, not to 
ascribe unto themselves any goodness of themselves, but all 
unto our Lord God, as shall appear hereafter, when this 



2 Sermons on the Card 

question aforesaid, " Who art thou ? " shall be moved unta 
them : not as the Pharisees did unto St John, of an evil 
purpose, but of a good and simple mind, as may appear 
hereafter. 

Now then, according to the preacher's mind, let every 
man and woman, of a good and simple mind, contrary to the 
Pharisees' intent, ask this question, "Who art thou ? " This 
question must be moved to themselves, what they be of them- 
selves, on this fashion : " What art thou of thy only and 
natural generation between father and mother, when thou 
camest into this world ? What substance, what virtue, what 
goodness art thou of, by thyself?" Which question if thou 
rehearse oftentimes unto thyself, thou shalt well perceive and 
understand how thou shalt make answer unto it ; which must 
be made on this wise : I am of myself, and by myself, coming 
from my natural father and mother, the child of the ire and 
indignation of God, the true inheritor of hell, a lump of sin, 
and working nothing of myself but all towards hell, except 
I have better help of another than I have of myself. Now 
we may see in what state we enter into this world, that we 
be of ourselves the true and just inheritors of hell, the 
children of the ire and indignation of Christ, working all 
towards hell, whereby we deserve of ourselves perpetual 
damnation, by the right judgment of God, and the true claim 
of ourselves ; which unthrifty state that we be born unto is 
come unto us for our own deserts, as proveth well this 
example following : 

Let it be admitted for the probation of this, that it might 
please the king's grace now being to accept into his favour 
a mean man, of a simple degree and birth, not born to any 
possession ; whom the king's grace favoureth, not because 
this person hath of himself deserved any such favour, but 
that the king casteth this favour unto him of his own mere 
motion and fantasy : and for because the king's grace will 
more declare his favour unto him, he giveth unto this said 
man a thousand pounds in lands, to him and his heirs, on 
this condition, that he shall take upon him to be the chief 
captain and defender of his town of Calais, and to be true 
and faithful to him in the custody of the same, against the 
Frenchmen especially, above all other enemies. 

This man taketh on him this charge, promising his fidelity 
thereunto. It chanceth in process of time, that by the 
singular acquaintance and frequent familiarity of this captain 



Sermon the First 3 

with the Frenchmen, these Frenchmen give unto the said 
captain of Calais a great sum of money, so that he will 
but be content and agreeable that they may enter into the 
said town of Calais by force of arms ; and so thereby possess 
the same unto the crown of France. Upon this agreement 
the Frenchmen do invade the said town of Calais, alonely 
by the negligence of this captain. 

Now the king's grace, hearing of this invasion, cometh 
with a great puissance to defend this his said town, and 
so by good policy of war overcometh the said Frenchmen, 
and entefeth again into his said town of Calais. Then he, 
being desirous to know how these enemies of his came 
thither, maketh profound search and inquiry by whom this 
treason was conspired. By this search it was known and 
found his own captain to be the very author and the beginner 
of the betraying of it. The king, seeing the great infidelity 
of this person, dischargeth this man of his office, and taketh 
from him and from his heirs this thousand pounds of pos- 
sessions. Think you not that the king doth use justice unto 
him, and all his posterity and heirs ? Yes, truly : the said 
captain cannot deny himself but that he had true justice, 
considering how unfaithfully he behaved him to his prince, 
contrary to his own fidelity and promise. So likewise it 
was of our first father Adam. He had given unto him the 
spirit of science and knowledge, to work all goodness there- 
with ''this said spirit was not given aloriely unto him, but 
unto all his heirs and posterity.^ He had also defivered him 
the town of Calais, that is to say, paradise in earth, the most 
strong and fairest town in the world, to be in his custody. 
He nevertheless, by the instigation of these Frenchmen, that 
is to say, the temptation of the fiend, did obey unto their 
desire ; and so he brake his promise and fidelity, the com- 
mandment of the everlasting King his master, in eating of 
the apple by him inhibited. 

Now then the King, seeing this great treason in his 
captain, deposed him of the thousand pounds of possessions, 
that is to say, from everlasting life in glory, and all his heirs 
and posterity : for likewise as he had the spirit of science 
and knowledge, for him and his heirs; so in like manner, 
when he lost the same, his heirs also lost it by him and in 
him. So now this example proveth, that by our father 
Adam we had once in him the very inheritance of everlasting 
joy ; and by him, and in him, again we lost the same. 



4 Sermons on the Card 

The heirs of the captain of Calais could not by any 
manner of claim ask of the king the right and title of their 
father in the thousand pounds of possessions, by reason the 
king might answer and say unto them, that although their 
father deserved not of himself to enjoy so great possessions, 
yet he deserved by himself to lose them, and greater, 
committing so high treason, as he did, against his prince's 
commandments ; whereby he had no wrong to lose his title, 
but was unworthy to have the same, and had therein true 
justice. Let not you think, which be his heirs, that if he 
had justice to lose his possessions, you have wrong to lose 
the same. In the same manner it may be answered unto all 
men and women now being, that if our father Adam had 
true justice to be excluded from his possession of everlasting 
glory in paradise, let us not think the contrary that be his 
heirs, but that we have no wrong in losing also the same; 
yea, we have true justice and right. Then in what miser- 
able estate we be, that of the right and just title of our own 
deserts have lost the everlasting joy, and claim of ourselves 
to be true inheritors of hell ! For he that committeth deadly 
sin willingly, bindeth himself to be inheritor of everlasting 
pain : and so did our forefather Adam willingly eat of the 
apple forbidden. Wherefore he was cast out of the ever- 
lasting joy in paradise into this corrupt world, amongst all 
vileness, whereby of himself he was not worthy to do any 
thing laudable or pleasant to God, evermore bound to corrupt 
affections and beastly appetites, transformed into the most 
unpleanest and variablest nature that was made under hea- 
ven ; of whose seed and disposition all the world is lineally 
descended, insomuch that this evil nature is so fused and 
shed from one into another, that at this day there is no man 
nor woman living, that can of themselves wash away this 
abominable vileness '. and so we must needs grant of our- 
selves to be in like displeasure unto God, as our forefather 
Adam was. By reason hereof, as I said, we be of ourselves 
the very children of the indignation and vengeance of God, 
the true inheritors of hell, and working all towards hell : 
which is the answer to this question, made to every man 
and woman, by themselves, " Who art thou ? " 

And now, the world standing in this damnable state, 
cometh in the occasion of the incarnation of Christ. The 
Father in heaven, perceiving the frail nature of man, that 
he, by himself and of himself, could do nothing for himself, 



Sermon the First 5 

by his prudent wisdom sent down the second person in 
Trinity, his Son Jesus Christ, to declare unto man his 
pleasure and commandment : and so, at the Father's will, 
Christ took on him human nature, being willing to deliver 
man out of this miserable way, and was content to suffer 
cruel passion in shedding his blood for all mankind ; and 
so left behind for our safeguard laws and ordinances, to keep 
us always in the right path unto everlasting life, as the 
evangelists, the sacraments, the commandments, and so forth : 
which if vve do keep and observe according to our profession, 
we shall answer better unto this question, " Who art thou ? " 
than we did before. For before thou didst enter into the 
sacrament of baptism, thou wert but a natural man, a natural 
woman ; as I might say, a man, a woman : but after thou 
takest on thee Christ's religion, thou hast a longer name ; 
for then thou art a christian man, a christian woman. Now 
then, seeing thou art a christian man, what shall be thy 
answer of this question, "Who art thou?" 

The answer of this question is, when I ask it unto my- 
self, I must say that I am a christian man, a christian 
woman, the child of everlasting joy, through the merits of 
the bitter passion of Christ. This is a joyful answer. Here 
we may see how much we be bound and in danger unto 
God, that hath revived us from death to life, and saved us 
that were damned : which great benefit we cannot well 
consider, unless we do remember what we were of ourselves 
before we meddled with him or his laws ; and the more 
we know our feeble nature, and set less by it, the more 
we shall conceive and know in our hearts what God hath 
done for us ; and the more we know what God hath done 
for us, the less we shall set by ourselves, and the more 
we shall love and please God : so that in no condition we 
shall either know ourselves or God, except we do utterly 
confess ourselves to be mere vileness and corruption. Well, 
now it is come unto this point, that we be christian men, 
christian women, I pray you what doth Christ require of a 
christian man, or of a christian woman ? Christ requireth 
nothing else of a christian man or woman, but that they will 
observe his rule : for likewise as he is a good Augustine friar 
that keepeth well St Augustine's rule, so is he a good 
christian man that keepeth well Christ's rule. 

Now then, what is Christ's rule ? Christ's rule con- 
sisteth in many things, as in the commandments, and the 



6 Sermons on the Card 

works of mercy, and so forth. And for because I cannot 
declare Christ's rule unto you at one time, as it ought to 
be done, I will apply myself according to your custom at 
this time of Christmas : I will, as I said, declare unto you 
Christ's rule, but that shall be in Christ's cards. And 
whereas you are wont to celebrate Christmas in playing 
at cards, I intend, by God's grace, to deal unto you Christ's 
cards, wherein you shall perceive Christ's rule. The game 
that we will play at shall be called the triumph \ which 
if it be well played at, he that dealeth shall win ; the 
players shall likewise win ; and the standers and lookers 
upon shall do the same ; insomuch that there is no man 
that is willing to play at this triumph with these cards, 
but they shall be all winners, and no losers. 

Let therefore every christian man and woman play at 
these cards, that they may have and obtain the triumph : 
3'ou must mark also that the triumph must apply to fetch 
home unto him all the other cards, whatsoever suit they 
be of. Now then, take ye this first card, which must appear 
and be shewed unto you as foUoweth : you have heard what 
was spoken to men of the old law, " Thou shalt not kill ; 
whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of judgment : but 
I say unto you " of the new law, saith Christ, " that who- 
soever is angry with his neighbour, shall be in danger of 
judgment ; and whosoever shall say unto his neighbour, 
'Raca,'that is to say, brainless," or any other like word of 
rebuking, " shall be in danger of council ; and whosoever 
shall say unto his neighbour, 'Fool,' shall be in danger of 
hell-fire." This card was made and spoken by Christ, as 
appeareth in the fifth chapter of St Matthew. 

Now it must be noted, that whosoever shall play with 
this card, must first, before they play with it, know the 
strength and virtue of the same : wherefore you must well 
note and mark terms, how they be spoken, and to what 
purpose. Let us therefore read it once or twice, that we 
may be the better acquainted with it. 

Now behold and see, this card is divided into four parts : 
the first part is one of the commandments that was given 

' This game was something like the modern game of Whist. The 
cards, however, were not all dealt out ; and the dealer had an ad- 
vantage in being allowed to reject such cards from his hand as he 
thought proper, and take others in their stead from the undealt stock. 
An account of the game is given by Singer, " Researches into the 
History of Playing Cards, &c." pp. 269, 270. 



Sermon the First 7 

unto Moses in the old law, before the .coming of Christ ; 
which commandment we of the new law be bound to observe 
and keep, and it is one of our commandments. The other 
three parts spoken by Christ be nothing else but expositions 
unto the first part of this commandment : for in very effect 
all these four parts be but one commandment, that is to say, 
" Thou shalt not kill." Yet nevertheless, the last three parts- 
do shew unto thee how many ways thou mayest kill thy 
neighbour contrary to this commandment : yet, for all Christ's 
exposition in the three last parts of this card, the terms 
be not open enough to thee that dost read and hear them 
spoken. No doubt, the Jews understood Christ well enough, 
when he spake to them these three last sentences ; for he 
spake unto them in their own natural terms and tongue. 
Wherefore, seeing that these terms were natural terms of 
the Jews, it shall be necessary to expound them, and com- 
pare them unto some like terms of our natural speech, that 
we in like manner may understand Christ as well as the 
Jews did. We will begin first with the first part of this 
card, and then after, with the other three parts. You must 
therefore understand that the Jews and the Pharisees of 
the old law, to whom this first part, this commandment, 
" Thou shalt not kill," was spoken, thought it sufficient and 
enough for their discharge, not to kill with any manner of 
material weapon, as sword, dagger, or with any such weapon ; 
and they thought it no great fault whatsoever they said 
or did by their neighbours, so that they did not harm or 
meddle with their corporal bodies : which was a false opinion 
in them, as prove well the three last other sentences follow- 
ing the first part of this card. 

Now, as touching the three other sentences, you must 
note and take heed, what difference is between these three 
manner of offences : to be angry with your neighbour ; to 
call your neighbour " brainless," or any such word of disdain ; 
or to call your neighbour " fool." Whether these three 
manner of offences be of themselves more grievous one than 
the other, it is to be opened unto you. Truly, as they 
be of themselves divers offences, so they kill diversly^ one 
more than the other; as you shall perceive by the first of 
these three, and so forth. A man which conceiveth against his 
neighbour or brother ire or wrath in his mind, by soqie 
manner of occasion given unto him, although he be angry 
in his mind against his said neighbour, he will peradventure 



8 Sermons on the Card 

express his ire by no manner of sign, either in word or 
deed : yet nevertheless he offendeth against God, and break- 
eth this commandment in killing his own soul ; and is 
therefore " in danger of judgment." 

Now, to the second part of these three : That man that 
is moved with ire against his neighbour, and in his ire calleth 
his neighbour " brainless," or some other like word of dis- 
pleasure ; as a man might say in a fury, " I shall handle 
thee well enough ; " which words and countenances do more 
represent and declare ire to be in this man, than in him 
that was. but angry, and spake no manner of word nor 
shewed any countenance to declare his ire. Wherefore as 
he that so declareth his ire either by word or countenance, 
offendeth more against God, so ^he both killeth his own soul, 
and doth that in him is to kill his neighbour's soul in 
moving him unto ire, wherein he is faulty himself; and so 
this man is "in danger of council." 

Now to the third offence, and last of these three : That 
man that calleth his neighbour " fool," doth more declare 
his angry mind toward him, than he that called his neigh- 
bour but " brainless," or any such words moving ii-e : for to 
call a man " fool," that word representeth more envy in a 
man, than " brainless " doth. Wherefore he doth most 
offend, because he doth most earnestly with such words 
express his ire, and so he is " in danger of hell-fire." 

Wherefore you may understand now, these three parts of 
this card be three offences, and that one is more grievous to 
God than the other, and that one killeth more the soul of 
man than the other. 

Now peradventure there be some that will marvel, that 
Christ did not declare this commandment by some greater 
faults of ire, than by these which seem but small faults, as 
to be angry and speak nothing of it, to declare it and to 
call a man " brainless," and to call his neighbour " fool : " 
truly these be the smallest and the least faults that belong 
to ire, or to killing in ire. Therefore beware how you offend 
in any kind of ire : seeing that the smallest be damnable 
to offend in, see that you offend not in the greatest. For 
Christ thought, if he might bring you from the smallest 
manner of faults, and give you warning to avoid the least, 
he reckoned you would not offend in the greatest and worst, 
as to call your neighbour thief, whoreson, whore, drab, and 
so forth, into more blasphemous names ; which offences must 



Sermon the First 9 

need# have punishment in hell, considering how that Christ 
hath appointed these three small faults to have three degrees 
of punishment in hell, as appeareth by these three terms, 
judgment, council, and hell-fire. These three terms do signify 
nothing else but three divers punishments in hell, according 
to the offences. Judgment is less in degree than. council, 
therefore it signifieth a lesser pain in hell, and it is ordained 
for him that is angry in his mind with his neighbour, and 
doth express his malice neither by word nor countenance : 
council is a less degree in hell than hell-fire, and is a greater 
degree in hell than judgment ; and it is ordained for him 
that calleth his neighbour " brainless," or any such word, 
that declareth his ire and malice : wherefore it is more pain 
than judgment. Hell-fire is more pain in hell, than council 
or judgment, and it is ordained for him that calleth his neigh- 
bour "fool," by reason that in calling his neighbour "fool," 
he declareth more his malice, in that it is an earnest word 
of ire : wherefore hell-fire is appointed for it ; that is, the 
most pain of the three punishments. 

Now you have heard, that to these divers offences of ire 
ar^d kiUing be appointed punishments according to their 
degrees : for look as the offence is, so shall the pain be : 
if the offence be great, the pain shall be according ; if it be 
less, there shall be less pain for it. I would not now that 
you should think, because that here are but three degrees of 
punishment spoken of, that there be no more in hell. No 
doubt Christ spake of no more here but of these three 
degrees of punishment, thinking they were sufficient, enough 
for example, whereby we might understand, that there. be as 
divers and many pains as there be offences : and so by these 
three offences, and these three punishments, all other offences 
and punishments may be compared with another. Yet I 
would satisfy your minds further in these three terms, of 
" judgment, council, and hell-fire." Whereas you might say, 
What was the cause that Christ declared more the pains of 
hell by these terms, than by any other terms ? I told you 
afore that he knew well to whom he spake them. These 
terms were natural and well known amongst the Jews and the 
Pharisees : wherefore Christ taught them with their own terms, 
to the intent they might understand the better his doctrine. 
And these terms may be likened unto three terms which 
we have common and usual amongst us, that is to say, the 
sessions of inquirance, the sessions of deliverance, and the 



lo Sermons on the Card 

execution-day. Sessions of inquirance is like unto judgment ; 
for when sessions of inquiry is, then the judges cause twelve 
men to give verdict of the felon's crime, whereby he shall be 
judged to be indicted : sessions of deliverance is much like 
council ; for at sessions of deliverance the judges go among 
themselves to council, to determine sentence against the felon : 
execution-day is to be compared unto hell-fire ; for the Jews 
had amongst themselves a place of execution, named "hell- 
fire : " and surely when a man goeth to his death, it is the 
greatest pain in this world. Wherefore you may see that 
there are degrees in these our terms, as there be in those 
terms. 

These evil-disposed affections and sensualities in us are 
always contrary to the rule of our salvation. What shall we 
do now or imagine, to thrust down these Turks and to subdue 
them ? It is a great ignominy and shame for a christian 
man to be bond and subject unto a Turk : nay, it shall not 
be so ; we will first cast a trump in their way, and play with 
them at cards, who shall have the better. Let us play there- 
fore on this fashion with this card. Whensoever it shall 
happen the foul passions and Turks to rise in our stomachs 
against our brother or neighbour, either for unkind words, 
injuries, or wrongs, which they have done unto us, contrary 
unto our mind; straightways let us call unto our remembrance, 
and speak this question unto ourselves, " Who art thou ? " 
The answer is, " I am a christian man." Then further we 
must say to ourselves, " What requireth Christ of a christian 
man?" Now turn up your trump, your heart (hearts is 
trump, as I said before), and cast your trump, your heart, on 
this card ; and upon this card you shall learn what Christ 
requireth of a christian man, — not to be angry, ne moved to 
ire against his neighbour, in mind, countenance", nor other 
ways, by word or deed. Then take up this card with your 
heart, and lay them together : that done, you have won the 
game of the Turk, whereby you have defaced and overcome 
him by true and lawful play. But, alas for pity ! the Rhodes 
are won^ and overcome by these false Turks ; the strong 
castle Faith is decayed, so that I fear it is almost impossible 
to win it again. 

The great occasion of the loss of this Rhodes is by reason 
that christian men do so daily kill their own nation, that the 

' Alluding to the capture of the Island of Rhodes by the Turks, 
A.D. 1523. 



Sermon the First ii 

very true number of Christianity is decayed*; which murder 
and killing one of another is increased specially two ways, 
to the utter undoing of Christendom, that is to say, by 
example and silence. By example, as thus : when the father, 
the mother, the lord, the lady, the master, the dame, be 
themselves overcome with these Turks, they be continual 
swearers, avouterers, disposers to malice, never in patience, 
and so forth in all other vices : think you not, when the 
father, the mother, the master, the dame, be disposed unto 
vice or impatience, but that their children and servants shall 
incline and be disposed to the same ? No doubt, as the child 
shall take disposition natural of the father and mother, so 
shall the servants apply unto the vices of their masters and 
dames : if the heads be false in their faculties and crafts, it is 
no marvel if the children, servants and apprentices do joy 
therein. This is a great and shameful manner of killing 
christian men, that the fathers, the mothers, the masters, and 
the dames, shall not alonely kill themselves, but all theirs 
and all that belongeth unto them : and so this way is a great 
number of christian lineage murdered and spoiled. 

The second manner of killing is silence. By silence also 
is a great number of christian men slain ; which is on this 
fashion : although that the father and mother, master and 
dame, of themselves be well disposed to live according to the 
law of God, yet they may kill their children and servants in 
suffering them to do evil before their own faces, and do not 
use due correction according unto their offences. The master 
seeth his servant or apprentice take more of his neighbour 
than the king's laws, or the order of his faculty, doth admit 
him ; or that he suffereth him to take more of his neighbour 
than he himself would be content to pay, if he were in like 
condition : thus doing, I say, such men kill willingly their 
children and servants, and shall go to hell for so doing ; but 
also their fathers and mothers, masters and dames, shall bear 
them company for so suffering them. 

Wherefore I exhort all true christian men and women to 
give good example unto your children and servants, and suffer 
not them by silence to offend. Every man must be in his 
own house, according to St Augustine's mind, a bishop, not 
alonely giving good ensample, but teaching according to it, 
rebuking and punishing vice ; not suffering your children and 
servants to forget the laws of God. You ought to see them 
have their belief, to know the commandments of God, to keep 



12 Sermons on the Card 

their holy-days, not to lose their time in idleness ; if they do 
so, you shall all suffer pain for it, if God be true of his 
saying, as there is no doubt thereof. And so you may per- 
ceive that there be many a one that breaketh this card, 
"Thou shalt not kill," and playeth therewith oftentime at 
the blind trump, whereby they be no winners, but great 
losers. But who be those now-a-days that can clear them- 
selves of these manifest murders used to their children and 
servants ? I think not the contrary, but that many have 
these two ways slain their own children unto their damnation ; 
unless the great mercy of God were ready to help them when 
they repent there-for. 

Wherefore, considering that we be so prone and ready to 
continue in sin. let us cast down ourselves with Mary 
Magdalene ; and the more we bow down with her toward 
Christ's feet, the more we shall be afraid to rise again in sin ; 
and the more we know and submit ourselves, the more we 
shall be forgiven ; and the less we know and submit ourselves, 
the less we shall be forgiven ; as appeareth by this example 
following : 

Christ, when he was in this world amongst the Jews and 
Pharisees, there was a great Pharisee whose name was 
Simon : this Pharisee desired Christ on a time to dine with 
him, thinking in himself that he was able and worthy to give 
Christ a dinner. Christ refused not his dinner, but came 
unto him. In time of their dinner it chanced there came 
into the house a great and a common sinner named Mary 
Magdalene. As soon as she perceived Christ, she cast herself 
down, and called unto her remembrance what she was of 
herself, and how greatly she had offended God ; whereby she 
conceived in Christ great love, and so came near unto him, 
and washed his feet with bitter tears, and shed upon his head 
precious ointment, thinking that by him she should be de- 
livered from her sins. This great and proud Pharisee, seeing 
that Christ did accept her oblation in the best part, had great 
indignation against this woman, and said to himself, " If this 
man Christ were a holy prophet, as he is taken for, he would 
not suffer this sinner to come so nigh him." Christ, under- 
standing the naughty mind of this Pharisee, said unto him, 
"Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee." "Say what 
you please," quod the Pharisee. Then said Christ, " I pray 
thee, tell me this : If there be a man to whom is owing 
twenty pound by one, and forty by another, this man to whom 



Sermon the First 13 

this money is owing, perceiving these two men be not able 
to pay him, he forgiveth them both : which of these two 
debtors ought to love this man most ? " The Pharisee said, 
" That man ought to love him best, that had most forgiven 
him." "Likewise," said Christ, "it is by this woman: she 
hath loved me most, therefore most is forgiven her — she hath 
known her sins most, whereby she hath most loved me. 
And thou hast least loved me, because thou hast least known 
thy sins : therefore, because thou hast least known thine 
offences, thou art least forgiven." So this proud Pharisee 
had an answer to delay his pride. And think you not, but 
that there be amongst us a great number of these proud 
Pharisees, which think themselves worthy to bid Christ to 
dinner ; which will perk, and presume to sit by Christ in the 
church, and have a disdain of this poor woman Magdalene, 
their poor neighbour, with a high, disdainous, and solemn 
countenance ? And being always desirous to climb highest in 
the church, reckoning themselves more worthy to sit there 
than another, I fear me poor Magdalene under the board, and 
in the belfry, hath more forgiven of Christ than they have : 
for it is like that those Pharisees do less know themselves 
and their offences, whereby they less love God, and so they 
be less forgiven. 

I would to God we would follow this example, and be 
like unto Magdalene. I doubt not but we be all Magdalenes 
in falling into sin and in offending : but we be not again 
Magdalenes in knowing ourselves, and in rising from sin. If 
we be the true Magdalenes, we should be as willing to forsake 
our sin and rise from sin, as we were wiUing to commit sin 
and to continue in it ; and we then should know ourselves 
best, and make more perfect answer than ever we did unto 
this question, " Who art thou ? " to the which we might 
answer, that we be true christian men and women : and then, 
I say, you should understand, and know how you ought to 
play at this card, "Thou shalt not kill," without any 
interruption of your deadly enemies the Turks ; and so 
triumph at the last, by winning everlasting life in glory. 
Amen. 



SERMONS ON THE CARD 

Another Sermon concer?iing the Same Matter 

Now you have heard what is meant by this first card, 
and how you ought to play with it, I purpose again to deal 
unto you another card, ahnost of the same suit : for they be 
of so nigh affinity, that one cannot be well played without the 
other. The first card declared, that you should not kill, 
which might be done divers ways ; as being angry with your 
neighbour, in mind, in countenance, in word, or deed : it 
declared also, how you should subdue the passions of ire, and 
so clear evermore yourselves from them. And whereas this 
first card doth kill in you these stubborn Turks of ire ; this 
second card will not only they should be mortified in you, 
but that you yourselves shall cause them to be likewise mor- 
tified in your neighbour, if that your said neighbour hath 
been through your occasion moved unto ire, either in coun- 
tenance, word, or deed. Now let us hear therefore the tenor 
of this card : " When thou makest thine oblation at mine 
altar, and there dost remember that thy neighbour hath 
any thing against thee, lay down there thy oblation, and 
go first and reconcile thy neighbour, and then come and 
offer thy oblation." 

This card was spoken by Christ, as testifieth St Matthew 
in his fifth chapter, against all such as do presume to come 
unto the church to make oblation unto God either by prayer, 
or any other deed of charity, not having their neighbours 
reconciled. Reconciling is as much to say as to restore 
thy neighbour unto charity, which by thy words or deeds is 
moved against thee : then, if so be it that thou hast spoken 
to or by thy neighbour, whereby he is moved to ire or wrath, 
thou must lay down thy oblation. Oblations be prayers, 
alms-deeds, or any work of charity : these be all called 
oblations to God. Lay down therefore thine oblation ; begin 
to do none of these foresaid works before thou goest unto thy 
neighbour, and confess thy fault unto him ; declaring thy 
mind, that if thou hast offended him, thou art glad and 



Sermon the Second 15 

willing to make him amends, as far forth as thy words and 
substance will extend, requiring him not to take it at the 
worst : thou art sorry in thy mind, that thou shouldest be 
occasion of his offending. 

"What manner of card is this?" will some say: "Why, 
what have I to do with my neighbour's or brother's malice ? " 
As Cain said, "Have I the keeping of riy brother? or shall 
I answer for him and for his faults ? This were no reason — 
As for myself, I thank God I owe no mah malice nor dis- 
pleasure : if others owe me any, at their own peril be it. 
Let every man answer for himself ! " Nay, sir, not so, as you 
may understand by this card ; for it saith, " If thy neighbour 
hath any thing, any malice against thee, through thine oc- 
casion, lay even down (saith Christ) thine oblation : pray 
not to me ; do no good deeds for me ; but go first unto thy 
neighbour, and bring him again unto my flock, which hath 
forsaken the same through thy naughty words, mocks, scorns, 
or disdainous countenance, and so forth > and then come and 
offer thine oblation ; then do thy devotion ; then do thy alms- 
deeds ; then pray, if thou wilt have me hear thee." 

"O good Lord ! this is a hard reckoning, that I must go 
and seek him out that is offended with me, before I pray or 
do any good deed. I cannot go unto him. Peradventure 
he is a hundred miles from me, beyond the seas ; or else I 
cannot tell where : if he were here nigh, I would with all 
my heart go unto him." This is a lawful excuse before 
God on this fashion, that thou wouldest in thy heart be glad 
to reconcile thy neighbour, if he were present ; and that thou 
thinkest in thy heart, whensoever thou shalt meet with hira, 
to go unto him, and require him charitably to forgive thee ; 
and so never intend to come from him, until the time that 
you both depart one from the other true brethren in Christ. 

Yet, peradventure, there be some in the world that be so 
devilish and so hard-hearted, that they will not apply in any 
condition unto charity. For all that, do what lieth in thee, 
by all charitable means to bring him to unity. If he will 
in no wise apply thereunto, thou mayest be sorrowful in thy 
heart, that by thine occasion that man or woman continueth 
in such a damnable state. This notwithstanding, if thou 
do the best that lieth in thee to reconcile him, according 
to some doctors' mind, thou art discharged towards God. 
Nevertheless St Augustine doubteth in this case, whether thy 
oblations, prayers, or good deeds, shall avail thee before 



1 6 Sermons on the Card 

God, or no, until thy neighbour come again to good state, 
whom thou hast brought out of the way. Doth this noble 
doctor doubt therein ? What aileth us to be so bold, and 
count it but a small fault, or none, to bring our neighbour 
out of patience for every trifle that standeth not with our 
mind ? You may see what a grievous thing this is, to bring 
another man out of patience, that peradventure you cannot 
bring in again with all the goods that you have : for surely, 
after the opinion of great wise men, friendship once broken 
will be never well made whole again. Wherefore you shall 
hear what Christ saith unto such persons. Saith Christ, 
" I came down into this world, and so took on me bitter 
passion for man's sake, by the merits whereof I intended 
to make unity and peace in mankind, to make man brother 
unto me, and so to expel the dominion of Satan, the devil, 
which worketh nothing else but dissension : and yet now 
there be a great number of you, that have professed my 
name, and say you be christian men,, which do rebel against 
my purpose and mind. I go about to make my fold : you 
go about to break the same, and kill my flock." "How 
darest thou," saith Christ, "presume, to come unto my altar 
unto my church, or into my presence, to make oblation unto 
me, that takest on thee to spoil my lambs ? I go about like 
a good shepherd to gather them together ; and thou dost the 
contrary, evermore ready to divide and lose them. Who made 
thee so bold to meddle with my siUy beasts, which I bought 
so dearly with my precious blood ? I warn thee out |0f my 
sight, come not in my presence : I refuse thee and all thy 
works, except thou go and bring home again my lambs which 
thou hast lost. Wherefore, if thou thyself intend to be one 
of mine, lay even down by and by thine oblation, and come 
no further toward mine altar ; but go and seek them without 
any questions, as it becometh a true and faithful servant." 

A true and faithful servant, whensoever his master com- 
mandeth him to do any thing, he.maketh no stops nor ques- 
tions, but goeth forth with a good mind : and it is not unlike 
he, continuing in such a good mind and will, shall well over- 
come all dangers and stops, whatsoever betide him in his 
journey, and bring to pass effectually his master's will and 
pleasure. On the contrary, a slothful servant, when his 
master commandeth him to do any thing, by and by he will 
ask questions, " Where ? " " When ? " " Which way ? " and so 
forth ; and so he putteth every thing in doubt, that although 



Sermon the Second 17 

both his errand and way be never so plain, yet by his unto- 
ward and slothful behaviour his master's commandment is 
either undone quite, or else so done that it shall stand to no 
good purpose. Go now forth with the good servant, and 
ask no such questions, and put no doubts. Be not ashamed 
to do thy' Master's and Lord's will and commandment. Go, 
as I said, unto thy neighbour that is offended by thee, and 
reconcile him (as is- afore said) whom thou hast lost by thy 
unkind words, by thy scorns, mocks, and other disdainous 
words and behaviours ; and be not nice to ask of him the 
cause why he is displeased with thee : require of him chari- 
tably to remit : and cease not till you both depart, one from 
the other, true brethren in Christ. 

Do not, like the slothful servant, thy master's message 
with cautels and doubts : come not to thy neighbour whom 
thou has offended, and give him a pennyworth of ale, or a 
banquet, and so make him a fair countenance, thinking that 
by thy drink or dinner he will shew thee like countenance. 
I grant you may both laugh and make good cheer, and yet 
there may remain a bag of rusty malice, twenty years old, 
in thy neighbour's bosom. When he departeth from thee 
with a good countenance, thou thinkest all is well then. But 
now, I tell thee, it is worse than it was, for by such cloaked 
charity, where thou dost ofTend before Christ but once, thou 
hast offended twice herein : for now thou goest about to give 
Christ a mock, if he would take it of thee. Thou thinkest 
to blind thy master Christ's commandment. Beware, do not 
so, for at length he will overmatch thee, and take thee tardy 
whatsoever thou be ; and so, as I said, it should be better 
for thee not to do his message on this fashion, for it will 
stand thee in no purpose. " What ? " some will say, " I am 
sure he loveth me well enough : he speaketh fair to my face." 
Yet for all that thou mayest be deceived. It proveth not 
true love in a man, to speak fair. If he love thee with his 
mind and heart, he loveth thee with his eyes, with his 
tongue, with his feet, with his hands and his body ; for all 
these parts of a man's body be obedient to the will and mind. 
He loveth thee with his eyes, that looketh cheerfully on thee, 
when thou meetest with him, and is glad to see thee prosper 
and do well. He loveth thee with his tongue, that speaketh 
well by thee behind thy back, or giveth thee good counsel. 
He loveth thee with his feet, that is willing to go to help 
thee out of trouble and business. He loveth thee with his 



1 8 Sermons on the Card 

hands, that will help thee in time of necessity, by giving 
some alms-deeds, or with any other occupation of the hand. 
He loveth thee with his body, that will labour with his body, 
or put his body in danger to do good for thee, or to deliver 
thee from adversity : and so forth, with the other members 
of his body. And if thy neighbour will do according to these 
sayings, then thou mayest think that he loveth thee well ; 
and thou, in like wise, oughtest to declare and open thy 
love unto thy neighbour in like fashion, or else you be bound 
one to reconcile the other, till this perfect love be engendered 
amongst you. 

It may fortune thou wilt say, " I am content to do the 
best for my neighbour that I can, saving myself harmless." 
I promise thee, Christ will not hear this excuse; for he 
himself suffered harm for our sakes, and for our salvation 
was put to extreme death. I wis, if it had pleased him, 
he might have saved us and never felt pain ; but in suffering 
pains and death he did give us example, and teach us how 
we should do one for another, as he did for us all ; for, 
as he saith himself, " he that will be mine, let him deny 
himself, and follow me, in bearing my cross and suffering 
my pains." Wherefore we must needs suffer pain with 
Christ to do our neighbour good, as well with the body 
and all his members, as with heart and mind. 

Now I trust you wot what your card meaneth : let 
us see how that we can play with the same. Whensoever 
it shall happen you to go and make your oblation unto 
God, ask of yourselves this question, " Who art thou ? " 
The answer, as you know, is, " I am a christian man." Then 
you must again ask unto yourself. What Christ requireth 
of a christian man ? By and by cast down your trump, 
your heart, and look first of one card, then of another. 
The first card telleth thee, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt 
not be angry, thou shalt not be out of patience. This 
done, thou shalt look if there be any more cards to take 
up ; and if thou look well, thou shalt see another card of 
the same suit, wherein thou shalt know that thou art bound 
to reconcile thy neighbour. Then cast thy trump upon them 
both, and gather them all three together, and do according 
to the virtue of thy cards ; and surely thou shalt not lose. 
Thou shalt first kill the great Turks, and discomfort and 
thrust them down. Thou shalt again fetch home Christ's 
sheep that thou hast lost ; whereby thou mayest go both 



Sermon the Second 19 

patiently and with a quiet mind unto the church, and make thy 
oblation unto God ; and then, without doubt, he will hear thee. 

Be not ashamed to do thy Master's and Lord's will and 
commandment. Go, as I said, unto thy neighbour that is 
offended by thee, and reconcile him whom thou hast lost 
by thy unkind words, by thy scorns, mocks, and other 
disdainous words and behaviours, and be not nice to ask of 
him the cause why he is displeased with thee : require of him 
charitably to remit ; and cease not till you both depart, one 
from the other, true brethren in Christ. Come not to thy 
neighbour whom thou hast offended, and give him a 
pennyworth of ale or a banquet, and so make him a fair 
countenance, thinking that by thy drink or dinner he will 
shew thee like countenance. I grant you may both laugh 
and make good cheer, and yet there may remain a bag of 
rusty malice, twenty years old, in thy neighbour's bosom. 

When he departeth from thee with a good countenance, 
thou thinkest all is well then. But now I tell thee it is 
worse than it was, for by such cloaked charity where thou 
dost offend before Christ but once, thou hast offended twice 
herein : for now thou goest about to give Christ a mock, if 
he would take it of thee ; thou thinkest to blind thy master 
Christ's commandment. Beware and do not so, for at 
length he will overmatch thee, and take thee tardy where- 
soever thou be, and so as I said, it should be better 
for thee not to do his message on this fashion, for it will 
stand thee in no purpose. Wherefore we must needs suffer 
pain with Christ to do our neighbour good, as well with the 
body and all its members, as with heart and mind. 

But yet Christ will not accept our oblation (although 
we be in patience, and have reconciled our neighbour), if 
that our oblation be made of another man's substance ; but 
it must be our own. See therefore that thou hast gotten 
thy goods according to the laws of God and of thy prince. 
For if thou gettest thy goods by polling and extortion, or 
by any other unlawful ways, then, if thou offer a thousand 
pound of it, it will stand thee in no good effect ; for it is 
not thine. In this point a great number of executors do 
offend ; for when they be made rich by other men's goods, 
then they will take upon them to build churches, to give 
ornaments to God and his altar, to gild saints, and to do 
many good works therewith ; but it shall be all in their 
own name, and for their own glory. Wherefore, saith 



20 Sermons on the Card 

Christ, they have in this world their reward ; and so their 
oblations be not their own, nor be they acceptable before God. 

Another way God will refuse thy voluntary oblation, 
as thus ; if so be it that thou hast gotten never so truly 
thy goods, according both to the laws of God and man, 
and hast with the same goods not relieved thy poor neigh- 
bour, when thou hast seen him hungry, thirsty, and naked, 
he will not take thy oblation when thou shalt offer the same, 
because he will say unto thee, " When I was hungry, thou 
gavest me no meat; when I was thirsty, thou gavest no 
drink ; and when I was naked, thou didst not clothe me. 
Wherefore I will not take thy oblation, because it is none 
of thine. I left it thee to relieve thy poor neighbours, 
and thou hast not therein done according unto this my 
commandment, Misericordiam volo, et non sacrificium ; I 
had rather have mercy done, than sacrifice or oblation. 
Wherefore until thou dost the one more than the other, I 
will not accept thine oblation." 

Evermore bestow the greatest part of thy goods in 
works of mercy, and the less part in voluntary works. 
Voluntary works be called all manner of offering in the 
church, except your four offering-days,^ and your tithes : 
setting up candles, gilding and painting, building of churches, 
giving of ornaments, going on pilgrimages, making of high- 
ways, and such other, be called voluntary works ; which 
works be of themselves marvellous good, and convenient 
to be done. Necessary works, and works of mercy, are 
called the commandments, the four offering-days, your tithes, 
and such other that belong to the commandments ; and 
works of mercy consist in relieving and visiting thy poor 
neighbours. Now then, if men be so foolish of themselves, 
that they will bestow the most part of their goods in 
voluntary works, which they be not bound to keep, but 
willingly and by their devotion ; and leave the necessary 
works undone, which they are bound to do ; they and all 
their voluntary works are like to go unto everlasting dam- 
nation. And I promise you, if you build a hundred 
churches, give as much as you can make to gilding of saints, 

' The usual offering-days were at Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, 
and the Feast of the dedication of the parish-church. But by 
injunctions put forth by Henry VIII. in the year 1538, "the Feasts 
of the Nativity of our Lord, of Easter-day, of the Nativity of St John 
the Baptist, and of St Michael the Archangel," were to be " taken for 
the four general offering-days." Strype, Annals, Book I. ch. xlii. 



Sermon the Second 21 

and honouring of the church ; and if thou go as many 
pilgrimages as thy body can well suffer, and offer as great 
candles as oaks ; if thou leave the works of mercy and 
the commandments undone, these works shall nothing avail 
thee. No doubt the voluntary works be good and ought 
to be done ; but yet they must be so done, that by their 
occasion the necessary works and the works of mercy be 
not decayed and forgotten. If you will build a glorious 
church unto God, see first yourselves to be in charity with 
your neighbours, and suffer not them to be offended by your 
works. Then, when ye come into your parish-church, you 
bring with you the holy temple of God ; as St Paul saith, 
" You yourselves be the very holy temples of God :" and Christ 
saith by his prophet, " In you will I rest, and intend to make 
my mansion and abiding-place." Again, if you list to gild 
and paint Christ in your churches, and honour him in 
vestments, see that before your eyes the poor people die 
not for lack of meat, drink, and clothing. Then do you 
deck the very true temple of God, and honour him in rich 
vestures that will never be worn, and so forth use yourselves 
according unto the commandments : and then, finally, set up 
your candles, and they will report what a glorious light 
remaineth in your hearts ; for it is not fitting to see a dead 
man light candles. Then, I say, go your pilgrimages, build 
your material churches, do all your voluntary works ; and 
they will then represent you unto God, and testify with 
you, that you have provided him a glorious place in your 
hearts. But beware, I say again, that you do not run 
so far in your voluntary works, that ye do quite forget 
your necessary works of mercy, which you are bound to 
keep : you must have ever a good respect unto the best 
and worthiest works toward God to be done first and 
with more efficacy, and the other to be done secondarily. 
Thus if you do, with the other that I have spoken of 
before, ye may come according to the tenor of your cards, 
and offer your oblations and prayers to our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who will both hear and accept them to your ever- 
lasting joy and glory : to the which he bring us, and all 
those whom he suffered death for. Amen. 



ON EPHESIANS VI. 10-20 

A Sermon made by M. Hugh Latimer, at the time of the 
insurrection in the north^ which was in the twenty- 
seventh year of the reign of King Henry the Eighth, 
Ann. Dom. 1535, upon the Epistle read in the Church the 
twenty -first Sunday after Trinity Sunday, taken out of the 
sixth chapter of the Epistle of St Paul to the Ephesians. 

Put on all the ar?nour of God, that ye may stattd, &"€. 
Ephes. vi. 10, et seq. 

Saint Paul, the holy apostle, writeth this epistle unto the 
Ephesians, that is, to the people of the city of Ephesus. He 
writeth generally, to them all ; and in the former chapters 
he teacheth them severally how they should behave them- 
selves, in every estate, one to another ; how they should 
obey their rulers ; how wives should behave themselves to- 
wards their husbands ; children towards their parents ; and 
servants towards their masters ; and husbands, parents and 
masters should behave them, and love their wives, children, 
and servants ; and generally each to love other. 

Now Cometh he forth and comforteth them, and teacheth 
them to be bold, and to play the men, and fight manfully. 
For they must fight with valiant warriors, as appeareth 
afterward in the text. And against they come to fight he 
comforteth them, saying, " My brethren." He calleth them 
brethren ; for though he taught them before to be subject to 
kings and rulers, and to be obedient to their superiors, yet he 
teacheth them that in Christ we be all brethren, according to 
the saying in this same chapter, "God is no accepter of 
persons." "My brethren," saith he, "be ye comforted, be 
ye strong ; " not trusting to yourselves ; no, but be bold, and 
comforted "by our Lord, and by the power of his virtue :" 
not by your own virtue, for it is not of power to resist such 

' This was the insurrection in Yorkshire, which occurred toward 
the end of the year 1536, headed by Robert Aske, and called the 
" Pilgrimage of grace." Carte, Hist. ofEng. Vol. iii. pp. 139 — 141. 



Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity 23 

assaults as he speaketh of hereafter. " Put on, or apparel 
you with, the armour of God." Armour is an apparel to 
clothe a man, and maketh him seemly and comely ; setteth 
forth his body, and maketh him strong and bold in battle. 
And therefore Saint Paul exhorteth generally his brethren to 
be armed ; and as the assaults be strong, and not small, so 
he giveth strong armour, and not small : " Put on," saith he, 
" the armour of God." He speaketh generally of armour, 
but afterwards he speaketh particularly of the parts of armour, 
where he saith, be armed complete, whole ; be armed on 
every part with the armour of God ; not borrowed, nor 
patched, but all godly. And as armour setteth forth a man's 
body, so this godly armour maketh us seemly in the sight of 
God, and acceptable in his wars. 

Be ye therefore "armed at all points with the armour of 
God, that ye may stand strongly against the assaults of the 
devil." " That ye may stand," saith he. Ye must stand in 
this battle, and not sit, nor lie along ; for he that lieth is 
trodden under foot of his enemy. We may not sit, that is, 
not rest in sin, or lie along in sluggishness of sin ; but con- 
tinually fight against our enemy, and under our great Captain 
and Sovereign Lord Jesus Christ, and in his quarrel, armed 
with the armour of God, that we may be strong. We cannot 
be strong unless we be armed of God. We have no power 
of ourselves to stand against the assaults of the devil. There 
St Paul teacheth what our battle is, and wherefore we must 
be thus armed. 

For, saith he, "we have not wrestling or strife against 
flesh and blood : " which may be understood, against certain 
sins, which come of the flesh only ; but let us take it as it 
standeth, "against flesh and blood," that is, against any 
corporal man, which is but a weak thing in comparison, and 
with one stroke destroyed or slain : but we have to do with 
strong, mighty princes and potentates ; that mighty prince, 
that great conqueror of this world, the devil, yea a con- 
queror : for though our Saviour Jesus Christ conquered him 
and all his, by suffering his blessed passion, yet is he a great 
conqueror in this world, and reigneth over a great multitude 
of his own, and maketh continual conflicts and assaults against 
the rest, to subdue them also under his power ; which, if they 
be armed after St Paul's teaching, shall stand strongly against 
his assaults. "Our battle," saith St Paul, " is against princes, 
potestates," that is, against devils : for, after the common 



24 Sermon on the Epistle for the 

opinion, there fell from heaven of every order of angels, as of 
potentates. He saith also, "against worldly rulers of these 
darknesses : " for as doctors do write, the spirits that fell 
with Lucifer have their being in aire caliginoso, the air, in 
darkness, and the rulers of this world, by God's sufferance, to 
hurt, vex and assault them that live upon the earth. For 
their nature is, as they be damned, to desire to draw all 
mankind unto like damnation ; such is their malice. And 
though they hang in the air, or fall in a garden or other 
pleasant place, yet have they continually their pain upon 
their backs. Against these we wrestle, and " against spiritual 
wickedness in coelestibus" that is, in the air ; or we fight 
against spiritual wickedness in heavenly things. 

Think you not that this our enemy, this prince with all 
his potentates, hath great and sore assaults to lay against our 
armour ? Yea, he is a crafty warrior, and also of great 
power m this world ; he hath great ordnance and artillery : 
he hath great pieces of ordnance, as mighty kings and 
emperors, to shoot against God's people, to persecute or kill 
them ; Nero, the great tyrant, who slew Paul, and divers 
other. Yea, what great pieces hath he had of bishops of 
Rome, which have destroyed whole cities and countries, 
and have slain and burnt many ! What great guns were 
those ! 

Yea, he hath also less ordnance evil enough, (they may 
be called serpentines ^ ;) some bishops in divers countries, and 
here in England, which he hath shot at some good christian 
men, that they have been blown to ashes. So can this great 
captain, the devil, shoot his ordnance. He hath yet less 
ordnance, for he hath of all sorts to shoot at good christian 
men ; he hath hand-guns and bows, which do much hurt, but 
not so much as the great ordnance. These be accusers, 
promoters and slanderers ; they be evil ordnance, shrewd 
hand-guns and bows ; they put a man to great displeasure ; 
often-times death cometh upon that shot. For these things, 
saith the text, " take the armour of God." Against the 
great captains, the devils, and against their artillery, their 
ministers, there can nothing defend us but the armour 
of God. 

"Take therefore this armour," saith the text, "that ye 
may resist in the evil day, and in all things stand perfectly, 

' A serpentine was a small piece of artillery, which carried a 
ball of about -jlb. weight. 



Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity 25 

or be perfectly strong." This evil day is not so called here, 
because any day or time is evil ; for God made every day 
good, and all days be good : but St Paul calleth it the " evil 
day," because of the misfortune that chanceth or cometh in 
that day. As we have a common saying, " I have had an 
evil day, and an evil night," because of the heaviness or evil 
that hath happened ; so saith Paul, " that ye may resist in 
the evil day : " that is, when your great adversary hath com- 
passed you round about with his potestates and rulers, and 
with his artillery, so that you be almost overcome, then, if 
you have the armour of God, you shall be strong, and need 
not to fear his assaults. 

St Paul hath spoken of this armour of God generally, 
and now declareth the parts and pieces of armour ; and 
teacheth them how to apparel every part of the body with this 
armour. He beginneth yet again, saying, " Be strong, having 
your reins, or your loins girded about." Some men of war 
use to have about their loins an apron or girdle of mail, gird 
fast for the safeguard of the nether part of their body. So 
St Paul would we should gird our loins, which betokeneth 
lechery or other sinfulness, with a girdle, which is to be 
taken for a restraint or continence from such vices. In 
"truth," or "truly gird:" it may not be feigned, or falsely 
girt, but in verity and truth. There be many bachelors, as 
yet men unmarried, which seem to be girt with the girdle of 
continence, and yet it is not in truth, it is but feignedly. 
And some religious persons make a profession of continence 
or chastity, and yet not in truth, their hearts be not truly 
chaste. Such feigned girding of the loins cannot make a 
man strong to resist the assaults of the great captain or 
enemy in the evil day. Yet some get them girdles with 
great knots, as though they would be surely girt, and as 
though they would break the devil's head with their knotted 
girdles. Nay, he will not be so overcome : it is no knot 
of an hempton girdle that he feareth ; that is no piece of 
harness of the armour of God, which may resist the assault 
in the evil day ; it is but feigned gear ; it must be in the 
heart, &c. 

" And be ye apparelled or clothed," saith Paul, " with the 
habergeon or coat-armour of justice, that is, righteousness." 
Let your body be clothed in the armour of righteousness : 
ye may do no wrong to any man, but live in righteousness ; 
not clothed with any false quarrel or privy grudge. Ye must 



26 Sermon on the Epistle for the 

live rightly in God's law, following his commandments and 
doctrine, clothed righteously in his armour, and not in any 
feigned armour, as in a friar's coat or cowl. For the assaults 
of the devil be crafty : to make us put our trust in such 
armour, he will feign himself to fly ; but then we be most 
in jeopardy : for he can give us an after-clap when we least 
ween ; that is, suddenly return unawares to us, and then he 
giveth us an after-clap that overthroweth us : this armour 
deceiveth us. 

In like manner these men in the North country, they 
make pretence as though they were armed in God's armour, 
gird in truth, and clothed in righteousness. I hear say they 
wear the cross ^ and the wounds before and behind, and 
they pretend much truth to the king's grace and to the 
commonwealth, when they intend nothing less ; and deceive 
the poor ignorant people, and bring them to fight against both 
the king, the church, and the commonwealth. 

They arm them with the sign of the cross and of the 
wounds, and go clean contrary to him that bare the cross, 
and suffered those wounds. They rise with the king, and 
fight against the king in his ministers and officers ; they rise 
with the church, and fight against the church, which is the 
congregation of faithful men ; they rise for the commonwealth, 
and fight against it, and go about to make the commons 
each to kill other, and to destroy the commonwealth. Lo, 
what false pretence can the devil send amongst us ! It is one 
of his most crafty and subtle assaults, to send his warriors 
forth under the badge of God, as though they were armed in 
righteousness and justice. 

But if we will resist strongly indeed, we must be clothed 
or armed with the habergeon of very justice or righteousness ; 
in true obedience to our prince, and faithful love to our 
neighbours ; and take no false quarrels in hand, nor any 
feigned armour : but in justice, " having your feet shod for 
the preparation of the gospel of peace." 

Lo, what manner of battle this warrior St Paul teacheth 
us, "to be shod on our feet," that we may go readily and 

' "Every one wore on his sleeve, as the badge of the party, an 
emblem with the five wounds of Christ, with the name of Jesus 
wrought in the middle. They all protested upon oath, that they 
engaged in this undertaking for the love of God, the preservation of 
the king's person and issue, &c." Carte, Gen. Hist, of England, Vol. 
III. p. 1 40- 



Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity 27 

prepare way for the gospel ; yea, the gospel of peace, not 
of rebellion, not of insurrection : no, it teacheth obedience, 
humility, and quietness ; it maketh peace in the conscience, 
and teacheth true faith in Jesus Christ, and to walk in 
God's laws armed with God's armour, as Paul teacheth here. 
Yea, if bishops in England had been " shod for the prepara- 
tion of this gospel," and had endeavoured themselves to 
teach and set it forth, as our most noble prince hath 
devised ; and if certain gentlemen, being justices, had 
executed his grace's commandment, in setting forth this 
gospel of peace, this disturbance among the people had not 
happened. 

But ye say, it is new learning. Now I tell you it is 
the old learning. Yea, ye say, it is old heresy new scoured. 
Nay, I tell you it is old truth, long rusted with your canker, 
and now new made bright and scoured. What a rusty 
truth is this, ' Quodcumque ligaveris, " Whatsoever thou 
bindest," &c. This is a truth spoken to the apostles, and 
all true preachers their successors, that with the law of God 
they should bind and condemn all that sinned ; and who- 
soever did repent, they should declare him loosed and 
forgiven, by believing in the blood of Christ. But how 
hath this truth over-rusted with the pope's rust ? For he, 
by this text, "Whatsoever thou bindeth," hath taken upon 
him to make what laws him listed, clean contrary unto 
God's word, which willeth that every man should obey the 
prince's law: and by this text, "Whatsoever thou loosest," 
he hath made all people believe that, for money, he might 
forgive what and whom he lusted ; so that if any man 
had robbed his master,- or taken any thing wrongfully, the 
pope would loose him, by this pardon or that pardon, given 
to these friars or those friars, put in this box or that box. 
And, as it were, by these means a dividend of the spoil 
was made, so that it was not restored, nor the person rightly 
discharged ; and yet most part of the spoil came to the 
hands of him and his ministers. What is this but a new 
learning : a new canker to rust and corrupt the old truth ? 
Ye call your learning old : it may indeed be called old, for it 
cometh of that serpent which did pervert God's command- 
ment and beguiled Eve ; so it is an old custom to pervert 
God's word, and to rust it, and corrupt it. 

We be a great many that profess to be true ministers 
of the gospel ; but at the trial I think it will come to pass 



28 Sermon on the Epistle for the 

as it did with Gideon, a duke, which God raised up to 
deliver the children of Israel from the Midianites, in whose 
hands they were fallen, because they had broken God's 
commandment, and displeased God : yet at the length he 
had compassion on them, and raised up Gideon to deliver 
them. When they heard that they had a captain, or a 
duke, that should deliver them, they assembled a great 
number, about thirty thousand : but when it came to pass 
that they should fight, they departed all save five hundred. 
So, I fear me, that at the trial we shall be found but a 
few ministers of the true gospel of peace, and armed in the 
true armour of God. 

It followeth, "And in all things take the shield or 
buckler of faith." The buckler is a thing wherewith a man 
most chiefly defendeth himself: and that must be perfect 
faith in Jesus Christ, in our Captain, and in his word. It 
must also be a true faith, it is else no part of the armour 
of God : it may not be feigned, but a buckler, which may 
stop or quench the violence of the flaming darts of the most 
wicked. 

"Take also the helmet or head-piece of health," or 
true health in Jesus Christ ; for there is no health in any 
other name : not the health of a grey friar's coat, or the 
health of this pardon or that pardon ; that were a false 
helmet, and should not defend the violence of the 
wicked. 

" And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of 
God." Lo, St Paul teacheth you battle ; to take in your 
left hand the shield of faith, to defend and bear ofif the 
darts of the devil, and in the other hand a sword to 
strike with against the enemy : for a good man of war 
may not stand against, and defend only, but also strike 
against his enemy. So St Paul giveth us here a sword, 
"The word of God." For this sword is it that beateth 
this great captain, our enemy. Christ himself gave us 
ensample to fight with this sword; for he answered the 
devil with the scripture, and said, "It is written." With 
this sword he drave away the devil : and so let us break 
his head with this sword, the true word of God, and not 
with any word of the bishop of Rome's making ; not with 
his old learning, nor his new learning, but with the pure 
word of God. 

The time passeth : I will therefore make an end. Let 



Twenty-First Sunday after Trinity 29 

us fight manfully, and not cease ; for no man is crowned 
or rewarded but in the end. We must therefore fight con- 
tinually, and with this sword ; and thus armed, and we shall 
receive the reward of victory. And thus the grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ be with all your spirits. Amen. 



PREACHED BEFORE THE CLERGY 

The Sermon that the Reverefid Father in Christ, M. Hugh 
Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, made to the Convocation of 
the Clergy, before the Parliament began, the 9 day of fu7ie, 
the 28 year of the reign of our late King Henry the 8. 
Translated out of Latin into English, to the intent that 
thi?igs well said to a few may be u?iderstood of many, 
and do good to all them that desire to understand the 



truth. 



Filii hums seculi, <s'c. — Luc. xvi. 



Brethren, ye be come together this day, as far as I 
perceive, to hear of great and weighty matters. Ye be 
come together to entreat of things that most appertain to 
the commonwealth. This being thus, ye look, I am assured, 
to hear of me, which am commanded to make as a preface 
this exhortation, (albeit I am unlearned and far unworthy,) 
such things as shall be much meet for this your assembly. 
I therefore, not only very desirous to obey the command- 
ment of our Primate, but also right greatly coveting to serve 
and satisfy all your expectation ; lo, briefly, and as plainly 
as I can, will speak of matters both worthy to be heard 
in your congregation, and also of such as best shall become 
mine office in this place. That I may do this the more 
commodiously, I have taken that notable sentence in which 
our Lord was not afraid to pronounce " the children of 
this world to be much more prudent and politic than the 
children of light in their generation." Neither will I be 
afraid, trusting that he will aid and guide me to use this 
sentence, as a good ground and foundation of all such things 
as hereafter I shall speak of. 

Now, I suppose that you see right well, being men of 
such learning, for what purpose the Lord said this, and that 
ye have no need to be holpen with any part of my labour 
in this thing. But yet, if ye will pardon me, I will wade 
somewhat deeper in this matter, and as nigh as I can, fetch 

30 



Sermon preached before the Clergy 31 

it from the first original beginning. For undoubtedly, ye 
may much marvel at this saying, if ye well ponder both 
what is said, and who saith it. Define me first these three 
things : what prudence is ; what the world ; what light : and 
who be the children of the world ; who of the light : see 
what they signify in scripture. I marvel if by and by 
ye all agree, that the children of the world should be 
wiser than the children of the light. To come somewhat 
nigher the matter, thus the Lord beginneth : 

There was a certain rich 7nan that had a steward^ which 
was accused unto him that he had dissipated a?id ivasted 
his goods. This rich man called his stezuard to him and 
said, IV hat is this I hear of thee ? Come, make me an 
accoutit of thy stewardship ; thou may est no longer bear 
that office. 

Brethren, because these words are so spoken in a parable, 
and are so wrapped in wrinkles, that yet they seem to 
have a face and a similitude of a thing done indeed, and 
like an history, I think it much profitable to tarry some- 
what in them. And though we may perchance find in 
our hearts to believe all that is there spoken to be true ; 
yet I doubt whether we may abide it, that these words 
of Christ do pertain unto us, and admonish us of our duty, 
which do and live after such sort, as though Christ, when 
he spake any thing, had, as the time served him, served 
his turn, and not regarded the time that came after him, 
neither provided for us, or any matters of ours ; as some 
of the philosophers thought, which said, that God walked 
up and down in heaven, and thinketh never a deal of 
our affairs. But, my good brethren, err not you so ; stick 
not you to such your imaginations. For if ye inwardly 
behold these words, if ye diligently roll them in your minds, 
and after exphcate and open them, ye shall see our time 
much touched in these mysteries. Ye shall perceive that 
God by this example shaketh us by the noses and pulleth 
us by the ears. Ye shall perceive very plain, that God 
setteth before our eyes in this similitude what we ought 
most to flee, and what we ought soonest to follow. For 
Luke saith, " The Lord spake these words to his disciples." 
Wherefore let it be out of all doubt that he spake them to 
us, which even as we will be counted the successors and vicars 



32 Sermon preached before the 

of Christ's disciples, so we be, if we be good dispensers and 
do our duty. He said these things partly to us, which spake 
them partly of himself. For he is that rich man, which not 
only had, but hath, and shall have evermore, I say not one, 
but many stewards, even to the end of the world. 

He is man, seeing that he is God and man. He is rich, 
not only in mercy but in all kind of riches ; for it is he that 
giveth to us all things abundantly. It is he of whose hand 
we received both our lives, and other things necessary for 
the conservation of the same. What man hath any thing, I 
pray you, but he hath received it of his plentifulness ? To 
be short, it is he that " openeth his hand, and fiUeth all 
beasts with his blessing," and giveth unto us in most ample 
wise his benediction. Neither his treasure can be spent, 
how much soever he lash out ; how much soever we take of 
him, his treasure tarrieth still, ever taken, never spent. 

He is also the good man of the house : the church is his 
household, which ought with all diligence to be fed with his 
word and his sacraments. These be his goods most precious, 
the dispensation and administration whereof he would bishops 
and curates should have. Which thing St Paul affirmeth, 
saying, " Let men esteem us as the ministers of Christ, and 
dispensers of God's mysteries." But, I pray you, what is to 
be looked for in a dispenser? ^ This surely, "that he be 
found faithful," and that he truly dispense, and lay out the 
goods of the Lord ; that he give meat in time ; give it, 
I say, and not sell it ; meat I say, and not poison. For 
the one doth intoxicate and slay the eater, the other feedeth 
and nourisheth him.^^ Finally, let him not slack and defer 
the doing of his ofifice, but let him do his duty when time 
is, and need requireth it. This is also to be looked for, that 
he be one whom God hath called and put in office, and not 
one that cometh uncalled, unsent for; not one that of him- 
self presumeth to take honour upon him. And surely, if 
all this that I say be required in a good minister, it is much 
lighter to require them all in every one, than to find one 
any where that hath them all. Who is a true and faithful 
steward ? He is true, he is faithful, that coineth no new 
money, but taketh it ready coined of the good man of the 
house ; and neither changeth it, ne clippeth it, after it is 
taken to him to spend, but spendeth even the self-same that 
he had of his Lord, and spendeth it as his Lord's command- 
ment is ; neither to his own vantage uttering it, nor as the 



Convocation of the Clergy 33 

lewd servant did, hiding it in the ground. Brethren, if a 
faithful steward ought to do as I have said, I pray you, 
ponder and examine this well, whether our bishops and 
abbots, prelates and curates, have been hitherto faithful 
stewards or no? Ponder, whether yet many of them be as 
they should be or no ? Go ye to, tell me now as your 
conscience leadeth you, (I will let pass to speak of many 
other,) was there not some, that despising the money of the 
Lord, as copper and not current, either coined new them 
selves, or else uttered abroad newly coined of other ; some 
time either adulterating the word of God, or else mingling 
it (as taverners do, which brew and utter the evil and good 
both in one pot), sometime in the stead of God's word 
blowing out the dreams of men ? while they thus preached 
to the people the redemption that cometh by Christ's death 
to serve only them that died before his coming, that were 
in the time of the old testament; and that now since 
redemption and forgiveness of sins purchased by money, 
and devised by men, is of efficacy, and not redemption 
purchased by Christ : (they have a wonderful pretty example 
to persuade this thing, of a certain married woman, which, 
when her husband was in purgatory, in that fiery furnace 
that hath burned away so many of our pence, paid her 
husband's ransom, and so of duty claimed him to be set 
at liberty :) while they thus preached to the people, that 
dead images (which at the first, as I think, were set up, only 
to represent things absent) not only ought to be covered 
with gold, but also ought of all faithful and christian people, 
(yea, in this scarceness and penury of all things,) to be clad 
with silk garments, and those also laden with precious gems 
and jewels ; and that beside all ,this,^they are to be lighted 
with wax candles, both within the church and without the 
church, yea, and at noon days ; as who should say, here no 
cost can be too great ; wherei^^ in the mean tfme we see 
Christ's faithful and lively images, bought with no less price 
than with his most precious blood, (alas, alas !) to be an 
hungred, a-thirst, a-cold, and to lie m darkness, wrapped 
in all wretchedness, yea, to lie there till death take away 
their miseries : while they preached these will-works, that come 
but of our own devotion, although they be not so necessary 
as the works of mercy, and the precepts of God, yet they 
said, and in the pulpit, that will-works were more principal, 
more excellent, and (plainly to utter what they mean) more 



34 Sermon preached before the 

acceptable to God than works of mercy ; as though now 
man's inventions and fancies could please God better than 
God's precepts, or strange things better than his own : while 
they thus preached that more fruit, more devotion cometh 
of the beholding of an image, though it be but a Pater-noster 
while, than is gotten by reading and contemplation in scrip- 
ture, though ye read and contemplate therein seven years' 
space : finally, while they preached thus, souls tormented 
in purgatory to have most need of our help, and that they 
can have no aid, but of us in this world : of the which two, 
if the one be not false, yet at the least it is ambiguous, un- 
certain, doubtful, and therefore rashly and arrogantly with 
such boldness affirmed in the audience of the people ; the 
other, by all men's opinions, is manifestly false : I let pass 
to speak of much other such like counterfeit doctrine, which 
hath been blasted and blown out by some for the space of 
three hours together. Be these the Christian and divine 
mysteries, and not rather the dreams of men ? Be these 
the faithful dispensers of God's mysteries, and not rather 
false dissipators of them ? whom God never put in office, 
but rather the devil set them over a miserable family, over 
an house miserably ordered and entreated. Happy were 
the people if such preached seldom. 

And yet it is a wonder to see these, in their generation, 
to be much more prudent and politic than the faithful min- 
isters are in their generation ; while they go about more 
prudently to stablish men's dreams, than these do to hold up 
God's commandments. 

Thus it Cometh to pass that works lucrative, will-works, 
men's fancies reign ; but christian works, necessary works, 
fruitful works, be trodden under the foot. Thus the evil is 
much better set out by evil men, than the good by good 
men ; because the evil be more wise than be the good in 
their generation. These be the false stewards, whom all 
good and faithful men every day accuse unto the rich master 
of the household, not without great heaviness, that they 
waste his goods ; whom he also one day will call to him, 
and say to them as he did to his steward, when he said, 
"What is this that I hear of thee?" Here God partly 
wondereth at our ingratitude and perfidy, partly chideth us 
for them ; and being both full of wonder and ready to chide, 
asketh us, "What is this that I hear of you?" As though 
he should say unto us ; " All good men in all places complain 



Convocation of the Clergy 35 

of you, accuse your avarice, your exactions, your tyranny. 
They have required in you a long season, and yet require, 
dihgence and sincerity. I commanded you, that with all 
industry and labour ye should feed my sheep : ye earnestly 
feed yourselves from day to day, wallowing in delights and 
idleness. I commanded you to teach my cpmmandments, and 
not your fancies ; and that ye should seek my glory and my 
vantage : you teach your own traditions, and seek your own 
glory and profit. You preach very seldom ; and when ye do 
preach, do nothing but cumber them that preach truly, as 
much as lieth in you : that it were much better such were 
not to preach at all, than so perniciously to preach. Oh, 
what hear I of you ? You, that ought to be my preachers, 
what other thing do you, than apply all your study hither, 
to bring all my preachers to envy, shame, contempt ? Yea, 
more than this, ye pull them into perils, into prisons, and, as 
much as in you lieth, to cruel deaths. To be short, I would 
that christian people should hear my doctrine, and at their 
convenient leisure read it also, as many as would : your care 
is not that all men may hear it, but all your care is, that no 
lay man do read it : surely, being afraid lest they by the 
reading should understand it, and understanding, learn to 
rebuke our slothfulness. This is your generation, this is 
your dispensation, this is your wisdom. In this generation, 
in this dispensation, you be most politic, most witty. These 
be the things that I hear of your demeanour. I wished to 
hear better report of you. Have ye thus deceived me ? or 
have ye rather deceived yourselves ? Where I had but one 
house, that is to say, the church, and this so dearly beloved 
of me, that for the love of her I put myself forth to be slain, 
and to shed my blood ; this church at my departure I com- 
mitted unto your charge, to be fed, to be nourished, and to 
be made much of. My pleasure was ye should occupy my 
place ; my desire was ye should have borne Hke love to this 
church, like fatherly affection, as I did : I made you my 
vicars, yea, in matters of most importance. 

" For thus I taught openly : ' He that should hear you, 
should hear me ; he that should despise you, should despise 
me.' I gave you also keys, not earthly keys, but heavenly. 
I left my goods that I have evermore most highly esteemed, 
that is. my word and sacraments, to be dispensed of you. 
These benefits I gave you, and do you give me these thanks? 
Can you find in your hearts thus to abuse my goodness, my 



36 Sermon preached before the 

benignity, my gentleness ? Have you thus deceived me ? 
No, no, ye have not. deceived me, but yourselves. My gifts 
and benefits toward you shall be to your greater damnation. 
Because you have contemned the lenity and clemency of the 
master of the house, ye have right well deserved to abide 
the rigour and severity of the judge. Come forth then, let 
us see an account of your stewardship. An horrible and 
fearful sentence : Ye may have no longer my goods in your 
hands. A voice to weep at, and to make men tremble ! " 

You see, brethren, you see, what evil the evil stewards 
must come to. Your labour is paid for, if ye can so take 
heed, that no such sentence be spoken to you ; nay, we must 
all take heed lest these threatenings one day take place in us. 
But lest the length of my sermon offend you too sore, I will 
leave the rest of the parable and take me to the handling 
of the end of it ; that is, I will declare unto you how the 
children of this world be more witty, crafty, and subtle, 
than are the children of the light in their generation. Which 
sentence would God it lay in my poor tongue to explicate 
with such light of words, that I might seem rather to have 
painted it before your eyes, than to have spoken it ; and 
that you might rather seem to see the thing, than to hear it ! 
But I confess plainly this thing to be far above my power. 
Therefore this being only left to me, I wish for that I have 
not, and am sorry that that is not in me which I would so 
gladly have, that is, power so to handle the thing that I 
have in hand, that all that I say may turn to the glory of 
God, your souls' health, and the edifying of Christ's body. 
Wherefore I pray you all to pray with me unto God, and 
that in your petition you desire, that these two things he 
vouchsafe to grant us, first, a mouth for me to speak rightly ; 
next, ears for you, that in hearing me ye may take profit 
at my hand : and that this may come to effect, you shall 
desire him, unto whom our master Christ bad we should 
pray, saying even the same prayer that he himself did institute. 
Wherein ye shall pray for our most gracious sovereign lord 
the king, chief and supreme head of the church of England 
under Christ, and for the most excellent, gracious, and 
virtuous lady queen Jane\ his most lawful wife, and for all 
his, whether they be of the clergy or laity, whether they be 
of the nobility, or else other his grace's subjects, not for- 

' Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry VIH, 



Convocation of the Clergy 37 

getting those that being departed out of this transitory life, 
and now sleep in the sleep of peace, and rest from their 
labours in quietness and in peaceable sleep, faithfully, 
lovingly, and patiently looking for that that they clearly shall 
see when God shall be so pleased. For all these, and for 
grace necessary, ye shall say unto God God's prayer. Pater 
noster. 



THE SECOND SERMON, IN THE AFTERNOON 

Filii hujus seculi, &=€. — Luc. xvi. [8]. 

Christ in this saying touched the sloth and sluggishness 
of his, and did not allow the fraud and subtlety of others ; 
neither was glad that it was indeed as he had said, but com- 
plained rather that it should be so : as many men speak many 
things, not that they ought to be so, but that they are wont 
to be so. Nay, this grieved Christ, that the children of this 
world should be of more policy than the children of light ; 
which thing was true in Christ's time, and now in our time 
is most true. Who is so blind but he seeth this clearly ; 
except perchance there be any that cannot discern the chil- 
dren of the world from the children of light ? The children 
of he world conceive and bring forth more prudently ; and 
things conceived and brought forth they nourish and con- 
serve with much more policy than do the children of light. 
Which thing is as sorrowful to be said, as it seemeth absurd 
to be heard. When ye hear the children of the world, you 
understand the world as a father. For the world is father 
of many children, not by the first creation and work, but by 
imitation of love. He is not only a father, but also the son 
of another father. If ye know once his father, by and by 
ye shall know his children. For he that hath the devil to 
his father, must needs have devilish children. The devil 
is not only taken for father, but also for prince of the world, 
that is, of worldly folk. It is either all one thing, or else 
not much different, to say, children of the world, and children 
of the devil ; according to that that Christ said to the Jews, 
"Ye are of your father the devil:" where as undoubtedly 
he spake to children of this world. Now seeing the devil 
is both author and ruler of the darkness, in the which 
the children of this world walk, or, to say better, wan- 
der; they mortally hate both the light, and also the chil- 
dren of light And hereof it cometh, that the children of 

38 



Sermon preached before the Clergy 39 

light never, or very seldom, lack persecution in this world, 
unto which the children of the world, that is, of the devil, 
bringeth them. And there is no man but he seeth, that 
these use much more policy in procuring the hurt and damage 
of the good, than those in defending themselves. Therefore, 
brethren, gather you the disposition and study of the children 
by the disposition and study of the fathers. Ye know this 
is a proverb much used : " An evil crow, an evil egg." Then 
the children of this world that are known to have so evil a 
father, the world, so evil a grandfather, the devil, cannot 
choose but be evil. Surely the first head of their ancestry 
was the deceitful serpent the devil, a monster monstrous 
above all monsters. I cannot wholly express him, I wot 
not what to call him, but a certain thing altogether made of 
the hatred of God, of mistrust in God, of lyings, deceits, 
perjuries, discords, manslaughters ; and, to say at one word, 
a thing concrete, heaped up and made of all kind of mischief. 
But what the devil mean I to go about to describe parti- 
cularly the devil's nature, when no reason, no power of man's 
mind can comprehend it ? This alonely I can say grossly, 
and as in a sum, of the which all we (our hurt is the more) 
have experience, the devil to be a stinking sentine ^ of all 
vices ; a foul filthy channel of all mischiefs; and that this 
world,''' his son, even a child meet to have such a parent, 
is not much unlike his father. 

Then, this devil being such one as can never he unlike 
himself; lo, of Envy, his well beloved Leman^, he begat the 
World, and after left it with Discord at nurse ; which World, 
after that it came to man's state, had of many concubines 
many sons. He was so fecund a father, and had gotten 
so many children of Lady Pride, Dame Gluttony, Mistress 
Avarice, Lady Lechery, and of Dame Subtlety, that now 
hard and scant ye may find any corner, any kind of life, 
where many of his. children be not. In court, in cowls, 
in cloisters, in rochets, be they never so white ; yea, where 
shall ye not find them ? Howbeit, they that be secular and 
laymen, are not by and by children of the world ; nor they 
children of light, that are called spiritual, and of the clergy. 
No, no; as ye may find among the laity many children 
of light, so among the clergy, (how much soever we arrogate 

' Sentine, sentina, kennel of collected filth. 

^ Leman, properly, a sweetheart of either sex, but the word was 
commonly used in a bad sense. 



40 Sermon preached before the 

these holy titles unto us, and think them only attributed 
to us, Vos estis lux mundi, peculiuni Christie &■€. " Ye 
are the light of the world, the chosen people of Christ, a 
kingly priesthood, an holy nation, and such other,") ye 
shall find many children of the world ; because in all places 
the world getteth many children. Among the lay people 
the world ceaseth not to bring to pass, that as they be 
called worldly, so they are worldly indeed ; driven headlong 
by worldly desires : insomuch that they may right well seem 
to have taken as well the manners as the name of their 
father. In the clergy, the world also hath learned a way 
to make of men spiritual, worldlings ; yea, and there also to 
form worldly children, where with great pretence of holiness, 
and crafty colour of religion, they utterly desire to hide and 
cloak the name of the world, as though they were ashamed 
of their father ; which do execrate and detest the world 
(being nevertheless their father) in words and outw^ard signs, 
but in heart and work they coll ^ and kiss him, and in all 
their lives declare themselves to be his babes; insomuch 
that in all worldly points they far pass and surmount those 
that they call seculars, laymen, men of the world. The child 
so diligently followeth the steps of his father, is never 
destitute of the aid of his grandfather. These be our holy 
holy men, that say they are dead to the world, when no 
men be more lively in worldly things than some of them be. 
But let them be in profession and name most farthest from 
the world, most alienate from it ; yea so far, that they may 
seem to have no occupying, no kindred, no affinity, nothing 
to do with it : yet in their life and deeds they shew them- 
selves no bastards, but right begotten children of the world ; 
as that which the world long sithens had by his dear wife 
Dame Hypocrisy, and since hath brought them up and 
multiplied to more than a good many ; increased them too 
much, albeit they Swear by all he-saints and she-saints too, 
that they know not their father, nor mother, neither the 
world, nor hypocrisy ; as indeed they can semble and dis- 
semble all things ; which thing they might learn wonderful 
well of their parents. I speak not of all religious men, but 
of those that the world hath fast knit at his girdle, even in 
the midst of their religion, that is, of many and more than 
many. For I fear, lest in all orders of men the better, I 
must say the greater part of them be out of order, and 
' French accoler, to hang round the neck. 



Convocation of the Clergy 41 

children of the world. Many of these might seem ingrate 
and unkind children, that will no better acknowledge and 
recognise their parents in words and outward pretence, but 
abrenounce and cast them off, as though they hated them as 
dogs and serpents. Howbeit they, in this wise, are most 
grateful to their parents, because they be most like them, 
so lively representing them in countenance and conditions, 
that their parents seem in them to be young again, foras- 
much as they ever say one thing and think another. They 
shew themselves to be as sober, as temperate, as Curius 
the Roman was, and live every day as though all their life 
were a shroving time. They be like their parents, I say, 
inasmuch as they, in following them, seem and make men 
believe they hate them. Thus grandfather Devil, father 
World, and mother Hypocrisy, have brought them up. 
Thus good obedient sons have borne away their parents' 
commandments ; neither these be solitary, how religious, 
how mocking, how monking, I would say, soever they be. 

O ye will lay this to my charge, that nwnachns and 
solitarius signifieth all one. I grant this to be so, yet these 
be so solitary that they be not alone, but accompanied with 
great flocks of fraternities. And I marvel if there be not a 
great sort of bishops and prelates, that are brethren germain 
unto these ; and as a great sort, so even as right born, and 
world's children by as good title as they. But because I 
cannot speak of all, when I say prelates, I understand 
bishops, abbots, priors, archdeacons, deans, and other of such 
sort, that are now called to this convocation, as I see, to 
entreat here of nothing but of such matters as both appertain 
to the glory of Christ, and to the wealth of the people of 
England. Which thing I pray God they do as earnestly as 
they ought to do. But it is to be feared lest, as light hath 
many her children here, so the world hath sent some of his 
whelps hither : amongst the which I know there can be no 
concord nor unity, albeit they be in one place, in one con- 
gregation. I know there can be no agreement between 
these two, as long as they have minds so unlike, and so 
contrary affections, judgments so utterly diverse in all points. 
But if the children of this world be either more in number, 
or more prudent than the children of light, what then avail- 
eth us to have this convocation ? Had it not been better we 
had not been called together at all ? For as the children of 
this world be evil, so they breed and bring forth things evil ; 



42 Sermon preached before the 

and yet there be more of them in all places, or at the least 
they be more politic than the children of light in their gene- 
ration. And here I speak of the generation whereby they 
do engender, and not of that whereby they are engendered, 
because it should be too long to entreat how the children 
of light are engendered, and how they come in at the door ; 
and how the children of the world be engendered, and come 
in another way. Howbeit, I think all you that be here 
were not engendered after one generation, neither that ye all 
came by your promotions after one manner : God grant that 
ye, engendered worldly, do not engender worldly : and as 
now I much pass not how ye were engendered, or by what 
means ye were promoted to those dignities that ye now 
occupy, so it be honest, good and profitable, that ye in this 
your consultation shall do and engender. 

The end of your convocation shall shew what ye have 
done ; the fruit that shall come of your consultation shall 
shew what generation ye be of. For what have ye done 
hitherto, I pray you, these seven years and more ? AVhat 
have ye engendered ? What have ye brought forth ? What 
fruit is come of your long and great assembly ? What one 
thing that the people of England hath been the better of a 
hair ; or you yourselves, either more accepted before God, 
or better discharged toward the people committed unto your 
cure ? For that the people is better learned and taught now, 
than they were in time past, to whether of these ought we 
to attribute it, to your industry, or to the providence of God, 
and the foreseeing of the king's grace ? Ought we to thank 
you, or the king's highness ? Whether stirred other first, 
you the king, that he might preach, or he you by his letters, 
that ye should preach oftener ? Is it unknown, think you, 
how both ye and your curates were, in [a] manner, by 
violence enforced to let books to be made, not by you, but 
by profane and lay persons ; to let them, I say, be sold 
abroad, and read for the instruction of the people ? I am 
bold with you, but I speak Latin and not English, to the 
clergy, not to the laity ; I speak to you being present, and 
not behind your backs. God is my witness, I speak what- 
soever is spoken of the good-will that I bear you ; God is 
my witness, which knoweth my heart, and compelleth me to 
say that I say. 

Now, I pray you in God's name, what did you, so great 
fathers, so many, so long a season, so oft assembled together ? 



Convocation of the Clergy 43 

What went you about ? What would ye have brought to 
pass ? Two things taken away — the one, that ye (which 
I heg:rd) burned a dead man ^ ; the other, that ye (which 
I felt) went about to burn one being alive : him, because 
he did, I cannot tell how, in his testament withstand your 
profit ; in other points, as I have heard, a very good man ; 
reported to be of an honest life while he lived, full of good 
works, good both to the clergy, and also to the laity : this 
other,^ which truly never hurt any of you, ye would have 
raked in the coals, because he would not subscribe to certain 
articles that took away the supremacy of the king : — take 
away these two noble acts, and there is nothing else left that 
ye went about, that I know, saving that I now remember, 
that somewhat ye attempted against Erasmus,^ albeit as yet 
nothing is come to light. Ye have oft sat in consultation, 
but what have ye done ? Ye have had many things in de- 
liberation, but what one is put forth, whereby either Christ 
is more glorified, or else Christ's people made more holy ? 
I appeal to your own conscience. How chanced this ? How 
came it thus ? Because there were no children of light, no 
children of God amongst you, which, setting the world at 
nought, would study to illustrate the glory of God, and 
thereby shew themselves children of light ? I think not so, 
certainly I think not so. God forbid, that all you, which 
were gathered together under the pretence of light, should 
be children of the world ! Then why happened this ? Why, 
I pray you ? Perchance, either because the children of the 
world were more in number in this your congregation, as 
it oft happeneth, or at the least of more policy than the 
children of light in their generation : whereby it might very 
soon be brought to pass, that these were much more stronger 
in gendering the evil, than these in producing the good. 
The children of light have policy, but it is like the policy 
of the serpent, and is joined with doveish simplicity. They 
engender nothing but simply, faithfully, and plainly, even so 
doing all that they do. And therefore they may with more 
facility be cumbered in their engendering, and be the more 
ready to take injuries. But the children of this world have 
worldly policy, foxly craft, lion-like cruelty, power to do hurt, 

' The body of William Tracy, in the year 1532. 
^ Latimer himself. 

* An allusion to the attempt of Dr. Standish (1520) to fasten the 
charge of heresy on Erasmus. 



44 Sermon preached before the 

more than either aspis or basiliscus, engendering and doing 
all things fraudulently, deceitfully, guilefully : which as Nim- 
rods and such sturdy and stout hunters, being full of simula- 
tion and dissimulation before the Lord, deceive the children 
of light, and cumber them easily. Hunters go not forth 
in every man's sight, but do their affairs closely, and 
with use of guile and deceit wax every day more craftier than 
other. 

The children of this world be like crafty hunters ; they 
be misnamed children of light, forasmuch as they so hate 
light, and so study to do the works of darkness. If they 
were the children of light, they would not love darkness. 
It is no marvel that they go about to keep other in dark- 
ness, seeing they be in darkness, from top to toe over- 
whelmed with darkness, darker than is the darkness of hell. 
Wherefore it is well done in all orders of men, but especial 
in the order of prelates, to put a difference between children 
of light and children of the world, because great deceit 
ariseth in taking the one for the other. Great imposture 
cometh, when they that the common people take for the 
light, go about to take the sun and the light out of the 
world. But these be easily known, both by the diversity 
of minds, and also their armours. For whereas the children 
of light are thus minded, that they seek their adversaries' 
health, wealth, and profit, with loss of their own commodities, 
and ofttimes with jeopardy of their life ; the children of the 
world, contrariwise, have such stomachs, that they will sooner 
see them dead that doth them good, than sustain any loss of 
temporal things. The armour of the children of light are, 
first, the word of God, which they ever set forth, and with 
all diligence put it abroad, that, as much as in them lieth, 
it may bring forth fruit : after this, patience and prayer, 
with the which in all adversities the Lord comforteth them. 
Other things they commit to God, unto whom they leave 
all revengement. The armour of the children of the world 
are, sometime frauds and deceits, sometime lies and money : 
by the first they make their dreams, their traditions ; by 
the second they stablish and confirm their dreams, be they 
never so absurd, never so against scripture, honesty, or 
reason. And if any man resist them, even with these wea- 
pons they procure to slay him. Thus they bought Christ's 
death, the very light itself, and obscured him after his death : 
thus they buy every day the children of light, and obscure 



Convocation of the Clergy 45 

them, and shall so do, until the world be at an end. So that 
it may be ever true, that Christ said : " The children of the 
world be wiser, etc." 

These worldlings pull down the lively faith, and full con- 
fidence that men have in Christ, and set up another faith, 
another confidence, of their own making : the children of 
light contrary. These worldlings set little by such works 
as God hath prepared for our salvation, but they extol 
traditions and works of their own invention : the children 
of light contrary. The worldlings, if they spy profit, gains, 
or lucre in any thing, be it never such a trifle, be it never 
so pernicious, they preach it to the people, (if they preach 
at any time,) and these things they defend with tooth and 
nail. They can scarce disallow the abuses of these, albeit 
they be intolerable, lest in disallowing the abuse they lose 
part of their profit. The children of the light contrary, put 
all things in their degree, best highest, next next, the worst 
lowest. They extol things necessary, christian, and commanded 
of God. They pull down will-works feigned by men, and put 
them in their place. The abuses of all things they earnestly 
rebuke. But yet these things be so done on both parties, and 
so they both do gender, that the children of the world shew 
themselves wiser than the children of light, and that frauds 
and deceits, lies and money, seem evermore to have the 
upper hand. I hold my peace ; I will not say how fat feasts, 
and jolly banquets, be jolly instruments to set forth worldly 
matters withal. Neither the children of the world be only 
wiser than the children of light, but are also some of them 
among themselves much wiser than the other in their 
generation. For albeit, as touching the end, the generation 
of them all is one ; yet in this same generation some of 
them have more craftily engendered than the other of their 
fellows. 

For what a thing was that, that once every hundred year 
was brought forth in Rome of the children of this worjd, 
and with how much policy it was made, ye heard at Paul's 
Cross in the beginning of the last parliament : how some 
brought forth canonizations, some expectations,^ some 
pluralities and unions, some tot-quots and dispensations, some 



^ GraiicB expectivce, or certain papal instruments by which benefices, 
not yet vacant, were prospectively made over to purchasers. Many laws 
were enacted in England against this intolerable abuse. 



46 Sermon Preached before the 

pardons, and these of wonderful variety, some stationaries,^ 
some jubilaries,^ some pocularies ^ for drinkers, some 
manuaries '^ for handlers of relicks, some pedaries * for 
pilgrims, some oscularies ^ for kissers ; some of them en- 
gendered one, some other such fetures,^ and every one in that 
he was delivered of, was excellent politic, wise ; yea, so wise, 
that with their wisdom they had almost made all the world fools. 
But yet they that begot and brought forth that our old 
ancient purgatory pick-purse ; that that was swaged and 
cooled with a Franciscan's cowl, put upon a dead man's back, 
to the fourth part of his sins ; that that was utterly to be 
spoiled, and of none other but of our most prudent lord 
Pope, and of him as oft as him listed ; that satisfactory, that 
missal, that scalary ^ : they, I say, that were the wise fathers 
and genitors of this purgatory, were in my mind the wisest 
of all their generation, and so far pass the children of light, 
and also the rest of tHeir company, that they both are but 
fools, if ye compare them with these. It was a pleasant 
fiction, and from the beginning so profitable to the feigners 
of it, that almost, I dare boldly say, there hath been no 
emperor that hath gotten more by taxes and tallager of them 
that were alive, than these, the very and right-begotten sons 
of the world, got by dead men's tributes and gifts. If there 

' During a time of pestilence, Gregory I. appointed certain litanies 
and masses to be sung in the principal churches in Rome on certain 
fixed days, for the remission of sins. These solemnities were continued 
ever afterwards on stated occasions, and denominated S/atiotts, quasi 
statas, i.e. certis anni diebus ac statutis celebres. Pol. Vergil, De rerum 
Inventoribus, Lib. viii. c. I. 

- Pope Boniface VIII. instituted the first jubilee at Rome in the year 
1300, promising plenary remission of sins to all who should visit Rome 
at that festival. These jubilees were at first Ordered to be celebrated 
once in 100 years ; but Clement VI. shortened that period to 50 years ; 
Paul II. (who was followed herein by Sextos IV.) reduced the interval 
to 25 years ; whilst Alexander VI., to increase his revenue, assigned 
jubilees to be held in provinces and countries at a distance from Rome, 
as well as in Rome itself. 

^ Consecrated drinking-vessels. 

* Consecrated gloves and sandals. 

' Consecrated tablets on which were representations of Christ, of the 
Virgin Mary, or of some saint. Virtues, pardons, merits, &c. of various 
kinds were supposed to be derived from the purchase and use of these 
several consecrated articles, e.g. the pardon-bowl mtnUonQd by Latimer 
in his sermon " Of the Plough," p. 68. 

* Fetures : births or productions. 

' Masses-satisfactory, — foul-masses, — masses of scala co'/t. 



Convocation of the Clergy 47 

be some in England, that would this sweeting of the world 
to be with no less policy kept still than it was born and 
brought forth in Rome, who then can accuse Christ of lying ? 
No, no; as it hath been ever true, so it shall be, that the 
children of the world be much wiser, not only in making 
their things, but also in conserving them. I wot not what 
it is, but somewhat it is I wot, that some men be so loth 
to see the abuse of this monster, purgatory, which abuse is 
more than abominable : as who should say, there is none 
abuse in it, or else as though there can be none in it. They 
may seem heartily to love the old thing, that thus earnestly 
endeavour them to restore him his old name. They would 
not set an hair by the name, but for the thing. They be 
not so ignorant, (no, they be crafty,) but that they know if 
the name come again, the thing will come after. Thereby 
it ariseth, that some men make their cracks, that they, 
maugre all men's heads, have found purgatory. I cannot 
tell what is found. This, to pray for dead folks, this is not 
found, for it was never lost. How can that be found that 
was not lost ? O subtle finders, that can find things, if God 
will, ere they be lost ! For that cowlish deliverance, their 
scalary loosings, their papal spoliations, and other such their 
figments, they cannot find. No, these be so lost, as they 
themselves grant, that though they seek them never so 
diligently, yet they shall not find them, except perchance 
they hope to see them come in again with their names ; and 
that then money-gathering may return again, and deceit walk 
about the country, and so stablish their kingdom in all 
kingdoms. But to what end this chiding between the 
children of the world and the children of light will come, only 
he knovveth that once shall judge them both. 

Now, to make haste and to come somewhat nigher the 
end. Go ye to, good brethren and fathers, for the love of 
God, go ye to ; and seeing we are here assembled, let us do 
something whereby we may be known to be the children of 
light. Let us do somewhat, lest we, which hitherto have 
been judged children of the world, seem even still to be so. 
All men call us prelates : then, seeing we be in council, let 
us so order ourselves, that we be prelates in honour and 
dignity ; so we may be prelates in holiness, benevolence, 
diligence, and sincerity. All men know that we be here 
gathered, and with most fervent desire they anheale \ breathe, 
Are breathlessly anxious, (ankelare'). 



48 Sermon preached before the 

and gape for the fruit of our convocation : as our acts shall 
be, so they shall name us : so that now it lieth in us, 
whether we will be called children of the world, or children 
of light. 

Wherefore lift up your heads, brethren, and look about 
with your eyes, spy what things are to be reformed in the 
church of England. Is it so hard, is it so great a matter 
for you to see many abuses in the clergy, many in the laity ? 
What is done in the Arches^? Nothing to be amended? 
What do they there ? Do they evermore rid the people's 
business and matters, or cumber and ruffle them ? Do they 
evermore correct vice, or else defend it, sometime being well 
corrected in other places ? How many sentences be given 
there in time, as they ought to be ? If men say truth, how 
many without bribes ? Or if all things be well done there, 
what do men in bishops' Consistories ^ ? Shall you often see 
the punishments assigned by the laws executed, or els6 
money-redemptions used in their stead ? How think you 
by the ceremonies that are in England, oft-times, with no 
little offence of weak consciences, contemned ; more oftener 
with superstition so defiled, and so depraved, that you may 
doubt whether it were better some of them to tarry still, or 
utterly to take them away ? Have not our forefathers com- 
plained of the ceremonies, of the superstition, and estimation 
of them ? 

Do ye see nothing in our holidays ? of the which very 
few were made at the first, and they to set forth goodness, 
virtue, and honesty : but sithens, in some places, there is 
neither mean nor measure in making new holidays, as who 
should say, this one thing is serving of God, to make this 
law, that no man may work. But what doth the people on 
these holidays ? Do they give themselves to godliness, or 
else ungodliness ? See ye nothing, brethren ? If you see 
not, yet God seeth. God seeth all the whole holidays to 
be spent miserably in drunkenness, in glossing, in strife, in 
envy, in dancing, dicing, idleness, and gluttony. He seeth 
all this, and threateneth punishment for it. He seeth it, 
which neither is deceived in seeing, nor deceiveth when he 
threateneth. 

' The chief and most ancient Consistory court belonging to the 
archbishop of Canterbury. 

* All bishops have a Consistory court for the trial of ecclesiastical 
causes arising within their respective dioceses. 



Convocation of the Clergy 49 

Thus men serve the devil; for God is not thus served, 
albeit ye say ye serve God. No, the devil hath more 
service done unto him on one holiday, than on many vsrorking 
days. Let all these abuses be counted as nothing, who 
is he that is not sorry, to see in so many holidays rich and 
wealthy persons to flow in delicates, and men that live by 
their travail, poor men, to lack necessary meat and drink 
for their wives and their children, and that they cannot 
labour upon the holidays, except they will be cited, and 
brought before our Officials ? Were it not the office of good 
prelates to consult upon these matters, and to seek some 
remedy for them ? Ye shall see, my brethren, ye shall see 
once, what will come of this our winking. 

What think ye of these images that are had more than 
their fellows in reputation ; that are gone unto with such 
labour and weariness of the body, frequented with such our 
cost, sought out and visited with such confidence ? What say 
ye by these images, that are so famous, so noble, so noted, 
being of them so many and so divers in England ? Do you 
think that this preferring of picture to picture, image to 
image, is the right use, and not rather the abuse, of images ? 
But you will say to me. Why make ye all these interroga- 
tions ? and why, in these your demands, do you let and 
withdraw the good devotion of the people ? Be not all things 
well done, that are done with good intent, when they be 
profitable to us? So, surely, covetousness both thinketh and 
speaketh. Were it not better for us, more for estimation, 
more meeter for men in our places, to cut away a piece of 
this our profit, if we will not cut away all, than to wink at 
such ungodliness, and so long to wink for a little lucre ; 
specially if it be ungodliness, and also seem unto you un- 
godliness ? These be two things, so oft to seek m6re images, 
and sometime to visit the relicks of saints. And yet, as in 
those there may be much ungodliness committed, so there 
may here some superstition be hid, if that sometime we 
chance to visit pigs' bones instead of saints' relicks, as in 
time past it hath chanced, I had almost said, in England. 
Then this is too great a blindness, a darkness too sensible, 
that these should be so commended in sermons of some men, 
and preached to be done after such manner, as though they 
could not be evil done ; which, notwithstanding, are such, 
that neither God nor man commandeth them to be done. 
No, rather, men commanded them either not to be done at 



50 Sermon preached before the 

all, or else more slowlier and seldomer to be done, forasmuch 
as our ancestors made this constitution : " We command the 
priests, that they oft admonish the people, and in especial 
women, that they make no vows but after long deliberation, 
consent of their husbands, and counsel of the priest." The 
church of England in time past made this constitution. What 
saw they that made this decree ? They saw the intolerable 
abuses of images. They saw the perils that might ensue of 
going on pilgrimage. They saw the superstitious difference 
that men made between image and image. Surely, some- 
what they saw. The constitution is so made, that in manner 
it taketh away all such pilgrimages. For it so plucketh 
away the abuse of them, that it leaveth either none, or else 
seldom use of them. For they that restrain making vows 
for going of pilgrimage, restrain also pilgrimage; seeing 
that for the most part it is seen that few go on pilgrimage 
but vow-makers, and such as by promise bind themselves to 
go. And when, I pray you, should a man's wife go on 
pilgrimage, if she went not before she had well debated the 
matter with herself, and obtained the consent of her husband, 
being a wise man, and were also counselled by a learned 
priest so to do? When should she go far off to these 
famous images ? For this the common people of England 
think to be going on pilgrimage ; to go to some dead and 
notable image out of town, that is to say, far from their 
house. Now if your forefathers made^ this constitution, and 
yet thereby did nothing, the abuses every day more and 
more, increased, what is left for you to do? Brethren and 
fathers, if ye purpose to do any thing, what should ye sooner 
do, than to take utterly away these deceitful and juggling 
images ; or else, if ye know any other mean to put away 
abuses, to shew it, if ye intend to remove abuses ? Methink 
it should be grateful and pleasant to you to mark the earnest 
mind of your forefathers, and to look upon their desire where 
they say in their constitution, " We commatid you," and not, 
" We counsel you." How have we been so long a-cold, so long 
slack in setting forth so wholesome a precept of the church 
of England, where we be so hot in all things that have any 
gains in them, albeit they be neither commanded us, nor yet 
given us by counsel ; as though we had lever the abuse of 
things should tarry still than, it taken away, lose our profit ? 
To let pass the solemn and nocturnal bacchanals, the pre- 
script miracles, that are done upon certain days in the west 



Convocation of the Clergy 51 

part of England, who hath not heard ? I think ye have 
heard of St Blesis's ^ heart which is at Malverne, and of 
St Algar's ^ bones, how long they deluded the people : I am 
afraid, to the loss of many souls. Whereby men may well 
conjecture, that all about in this realm there is plenty of 
such juggling deceits. And yet hitherto ye have sought no 
remedy. But even still the miserable people are suffered to 
take the false miracles for the true, and to lie still asleep in 
all kind of superstition. God have mercy upon us ! 

Last of all, how think you of matrimony ? Is all well 
here ? What of baptism ? Shall we evermore in ministering 
of it speak Latin, and not in English rather, that the 
people may know what is said and done ? 

What think ye of these mass-priests, and of the masses 
themselves ? What say ye ? Be all things here so without 
abuses, that nothing ought to be amended ? Your forefathers 
saw somewhat, which made this constitution against the 
venality and sale of masses, that, under pain of suspending, 
no priest should sell his saying of tricennals^ or annals.* 
What saw they, that made this constitution ? What priests 
saw they ? What manner of masses saw they, trow ye ? 
But at the last, what became of so good a constitution ? God 
have mercy upon us ! If there be nothing to be amended 
abroad, concerning the whole, let every one of us make 
one better ; if there be neither abroad nor at home any 
thing to be amended and redressed, my lords, be ye of 
good cheer, be merry ; and at the least, because we have 
nothing else to do, let us reason the matter how we may 
be richer. Let us fall to some pleasant communication ; 

> Probably St Blaise. 

* Probably Algar the father of Fremond, the latter being a Mercian 
saint in great odour. 

^ Tricennals or Trentah — "a trentall of masses :... What masses 
shoulde they be? Thre Masses of the nativity of our Lord: Thre 
Masses of the Epiphanie of our Lord : Thre of the purification of our 
Lady : Thre of the annunciation of our Lady : Thre of the resurrection 
of our Lord : Thre of the ascension of our Lord : Thre of Penthecost : 
Thre of the Trinitie : Thre of the assumption of our Lady ; And of 
her nativitie ; so that these masses be celebrated within the octaves of 
the said feasts." Becon, Works, ill. fol. 366. 

* '■^Annals or Amjuals was a yearly mass said for a certain dead 
person, upon the anniversary day of his deatli." Johnson, Collection 
of all the Ecclesiastical Laws. &c. Vol. II. anno 1236, n. 8. A mass 
said for the soul of a deceased person every day for a whole year, was 
also called an Annal. 



52 Sermon preached before the 

after let us go home, even as good as we came hither, that 
is, right-begotten children of the world, and utterly world- 
lings. And while we live here, let us all make bone cheer 
For after this life there is small pleasure, little mirth for 
us to hope for ; if now there be nothing to be changed in 
our fashions. Let us say, not as St Peter did, " Our end 
approacheth nigh," this is an heavy hearing ; but let us say 
as the evil servant said, " It will be long ere my master 
come." This is pleasant. Let us beat our fellows : let us 
eat and drink with drunkards. Surely, as oft as we do 
not take away the abuse of things, so oft we beat our fellows. 
As oft as we give not the people their true food, so oft we 
beat our fellows. As oft as we let them die in superstition, 
so oft we beat them. To be short, as oft as we blind lead 
them blind, so oft we beat, and grievously beat our fellows. 
When we welter in pleasures and idleness, then we eat and 
drink with drunkards. But God will come, God will come, 
he will not tarry long away. He will come upon such a 
day as we nothing look for him, and at such hour as we 
know not. He will come and cut us in pieces. He will 
reward us as he doth the hypocrites. He will set us where 
wailing shall be, my brethren ; where gnashing of teeth shall 
be, my brethren. And let here be the end of our tragedy, 
if ye will. These be the delicate dishes prepared for the 
world's well-beloved children. These be the wafers and 
junkets provided for worldly prelates, — wailing and gnashing 
of teeth. Can there be any mirth, where these two courses 
last all the feast? Here we laugh, there we shall weep. 
Our teeth make merry here, ever dashing in delicates ; there 
we shall be torn with teeth, and do nothing but gnash and 
grind our own. To what end have we now excelled other 
in policy ? What have we brought forth at the last ? Ye see, 
brethren, what sorrow, what punishment is provided for you, 
if ye be worldlings. If ye will not thus be vexed, be ye not 
the children of the world. If ye will not be the children of 
the world, be not stricken with the love of worldly things ; 
lean not upon them. If ye will not die eternally, live not 
worldly. Come, go to ; leave the love of your profit ; study 
for the glory and profit of Christ ; seek in your consultations 
such things as pertain to Christ, and bring forth at the last 
somewhat that may please Christ. Feed ye tenderly, with 
all diligence, the flock of Christ. Preach truly the word of 
God. Love the light, walk in the light, and so be ye the 



Convocation of the Clergy 53 

children of light while ye are in this world, that ye may 
shine in the world that is to come bright as the sun, with 
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ; to whom be all 
honour, praise, and glory. Amen. 

[The picture of superstitions, of clerical misdoings, and papal abuses, 
which this Sermon presents, will not appear too highly coloured to any 
who are at all acquamted with the then existing state of things. Dean 
Colet had, twenty-five years earlier, preached a sermon before the con- 
vocation, in which he dwelt on the need of a Reformation, in language 
quite as strong as that employed by bishop Latimer. See Knight's Life 
of Colet, pp. 289 — 308. It is scarcely necessary to remind the learned 
reader of the enumeration of abuses contained in the Appendix to 
Wicelius' Via Regia, nor of those recited in the memorial presented to 
pope Paul in. by the Cardinals Contarini, Sadolet, Pole, and other 
eminent Romanists.] 



SERMON OF THE PLOUGH 

A Sermon of the Reverend Father Master Hugh Latimer, 
Preached in the Shrouds ^ at PauPs Church in London, 
on t/ie Eighteenth day of January, Anno 1548. 

Quacunque scripta sunt adnostram doctrinam scripta sunt. — RoM. xv. 4. 

" All things which are written, are written for our eru- 
dition and knowledge. All things that are written in God's 
book, in the Bible book, in the book of the holy scripture, 
are written to be our doctrine." 

I told you in my first sermon, honourable audience, that 
I purposed to declare unto you two things. The one, what 
seed should be sown in God's field, in God's plough land ; 
and the other, who should be the sowers : that is to say, 
what doctrine is to be taught in Christ's church and congre- 
gation, and what men should be the teachers and preachers 
of it. The first part I have told you in the three sermons 
past, in which I have assayed to set forth my plough, to 
prove what I could do. And now I shall tell you who 
be the ploughers : for God's word is a seed to be sown 
in God's field, that is, the faithful congregation, and the 
preacher is the sower. And it is in the gospel : " Exivit 
qui seminat seminare semen suum ; " He that soweth, the 
husbandman, the ploughman, went forth to sow his seed." 
So that a preacher is resembled to a ploughman, as it is in 
another place : Nemo admota aratro manu, et a tergo re- 
spiciens, aptus est regno Dei. " No man that putteth his 
hand to the plough, and looketh back, is apt for the king- 
dom of God." That is to say, let no preacher be negligent 
in doing his office. Albeit this is one of the places that hath 
been racked, as I told you of racking scriptures. And I 
have been one of them myself that hath racked it, I cry God 

' The sermons usually preached at St. Paul's Cross were, in rainy 
or inclement weather, "preached in a place called The Shrouds, which 
was, as it seems, by the side of the cathedral church where was cover- 
ing and shelter." — Stow. 

54 



Sermon of the Plough 55 

mercy for it ; and have been one of them that hath believed 
and expounded it against religious persons that would forsake 
their order which they had professed, and would go out of 
their cloister : whereas indeed it toucheth not monkery, nor 
maketh any thing at all for any such matter; but it is 
directly spoken of diligent preaching of the word of God. 
For preaching of the gospel is one of God's plough- 
works, and the preacher is one of God's ploughmen. Ye 
may not be offended with my similitude, in that I compare 
preaching to the labour and work of ploughing, and the 
preacher to a ploughman : ye may not be offended with this 
my similitude ; for I have been slandered of some persons 
for such things. It hath been said of me, " Oh, Latimer ! 
nay, as for him, I will never believe him while I live, nor 
never trust him ; for he likened our blessed lady to a saffron- 
bag : " where indeed I never used that similitude. But it 
was, as I have said unto you before now, according to that 
which Peter saw before in the spirit of prophecy, and said, 
that there should come after men per quos via veritatis 
maledictis afficeretur ; there should come fellows " by whom 
the way of truth should be evil spoken of, and slandered." 
But in case I had used this similitude, it had not been to be 
reproved, but might have been without reproach. For I 
might have said thus : as the saffron-bag that hath been full 
of saffron, or hath had saffron in it, doth ever after savour 
and smell of the sweet saffron that it' contained ; so our 
blessed lady, which conceived and bare Christ in her womb, 
did ever after resemble the manners and virtues of that 
precious babe that she bare. And what had our blessed 
lady been the worse for this? or what dishonour was this 
to our blessed lady? But as preachers must be wary and 
circumspect, that they give not only just occasion to be 
slandered and ill spoken of by the hearers, so must not the 
auditors be offended without cause. For heaven is in the 
gospel likened to a mustard-seed : it is compared also to a 
piece of leaven ; and as Christ saith, that at the last day he 
will come like a thief: and what dishonour is this to God ? 
or what derogation is this to heaven ? Ye may not then, 
I say, be offended with my similitude, for because I liken 
preaching to a ploughman's labour, and a prelate to a 
ploughman. But now you will ask me, whom I call a pre- 
late ? A prelate is that man, whatsoever he be, that hath 
a flock to be taught of him ; whosoever hath any spiritual 



56 Sermon of the Plough 

charge in the faithful congregation, and whosoever he be 
that hath cure of souls. And well may the preacher and 
the ploughman be likened together : first, for their labour 
of all seasons of the year ; for there is no time of the year 
in which the ploughman hath not some special work to do : 
as in my country in Leicestershire, the ploughman hath a 
time to set forth, and to assay his plough, and other times 
for other necessary works to be done. And then they also 
may be likened together for the diversity of works and 
variety of offices that they have to do. For as the plough- 
man first setteth forth his plough, and then tilleth his land, 
and breaketh it in furrows, and sometime ridgeth it up again ; 
and at another time harroweth it and clotteth it, and some- 
time dungeth it and hedgeth it, diggeth it and weedeth it, 
purgeth and maketh it clean : so the prelate, the preacher, 
hath many diverse olfices to do. He hath first a busy work 
to bring his parishioners to a right faith, as Paul calleth it, 
and not a swerving faith ; but to a faith that embraceth Christ, 
and trusteth to his merits ; a lively faith, a justifying faith ; 
a faith that maketh a man righteous, without respect of 
works : as ye have it very well declared and set forth in 
the Homily. He hath then a busy work, I say, to bring 
his flock to a right faith, and then to confirm them in the 
same faith : now casting them down with the law, and with 
threaten ings of God for sin ; now ridging them up again with 
the gospel, and with the promises of God's favour : now 
weeding them, by telling them their faults, and making them 
forsake sin ; now clotting them, by breaking their stony 
hearts, and by making them supplehearted, and making them 
to have hearts of flesh ; that is, soft hearts, and apt for doc- 
trine to enter in : now teaching to know God rightly, and 
to know their duty to God and their neighbours : now ex- 
horting them, when they know their duty, that they do it, 
and be diligent in it; so that they have a continual work 
to do. Great is their business, and therefore great should 
be their hire. They have great labours, and therefore they 
ought to have good livings, that they may commodiously 
feed their flock ; for the preaching of the word of God unto 
the people is called meat : scripture calleth it meat ; not 
strawberries, that come but once a year, and tarry not long, 
but are soon gone : but it is meat, it is no dainties. The 
people must have meat that must be familiar and continual, 
and daily given unto them to feed upon. Many make a 



Sermon of the Plough 57 

strawberry of it, ministering it but once a year ; but such 
do not the office of good prelates. For Christ saith, Quts 
putas est servus prudens et fidelisl Qui dat cibum in 
tempore. " Who think you is a wise and a faithful servant ? 
He that giveth meat in due time." So that he must at all 
times convenient preach diligently : therefore saith he, " Who 
trow ye is a faithful servant ? " He speaketh it as though 
i*- were a rare thing to find such a one, and as though he 
should say, there be but a few of them to find in the world. 
And how few of them there be throughout this realm that 
give meat to their flock as they should do, the Visitors can 
best tell. Too few, too few ; the more is the pity, and never 
so few as now. 

By this, then, it appeareth that a prelate, or any that 
hath cure of soul, must diligently and substantially work and 
labour. Therefore saith Paul to Timothy, Qui episcopatum 
desiderat, hie bonum opus desiderat : "He that desireth to 
have the office of a bishop, or a prelate, that man desireth 
a good work." Then if it be a good work, it is work ; ye 
can make but a work of it. It is God's work, God's plough, 
and that plough God would have still going. Such then 
as loiter and live idly, are not good prelates, or ministers. 
And of such as do not preach and teach, nor do their duties, 
God saith by his prophet Jeremy, Maledictus qui facit opus 
Dei fradulenter ; "Cursed be the man that doth the work 
of God fraudulently, guilefully or deceitfully : " some books 
have it negligenter, "negligently or slackly." How many 
such prelates, how many such bishops. Lord, for thy mercy, 
are there now in England ! And what shall we in this case 
do ? shall we company with them ? O Lord, for thy mercy ! 
shall we not company with them ? O Lord, whither shall 
we flee from them ? But " cursed be he that doth the work of 
God negligently or guilefully." A sore word for them that are 
negligent in discharging their office, or have done it fraudu- 
lently ; for that is the thing thatmaketh the people ill. 

But true it must be that Christ saith, Multi sunt vocaii, 
pauci vero electi : " Many are called, but few are chosen." 
Here have I an occasion by the way somewhat to say unto 
you ; yea, for the place I alleged unto you before out of 
Jeremy, the forty-eighth chapter. And it was spoken of 
a spiritual work of God, a work that was commanded to be 
done; and it was of shedding blood, and of destroying the 
cities of Moab. For, saith he, " Cursed be he that keepeth 



58 Sermon of the Plough 

back his sword from shedding of blood." As Saul, when he 
kept back the sword from shedding of blood at what time 
he was sent against Amaleck, was refused of God for being 
disobedient to God's commandment, in that he spared Agag 
the king. So that that place of the prophet was spoken of 
them that went to the destruction of the cities of Moab, 
among the which there was one called Nebo, which was 
much reproved for idolatry, superstition, pride, avarice, 
cruelty, tyranny, and for hardness of heart; and for these 
sins was plagued of God and destroyed. 

Now what shall we say of these rich citizens of London ? 
What shall I say of them ? Shall I call them proud men of 
London, malicious men of London, merciless men of London? 
No, no, I may not say so ; they will be offended with me 
then. Yet must I speak. For is there not reigning in 
London as much pride, as much covetousness, as much 
cruelty, as much oppression, and as much superstition, as 
was in Nebo ? Yes, I think, and much more too. Therefore 
I say, repent, O London ; repent, repent. Thou hearest 
thy faults told thee, amend them, amend them. I think, 
if Nebo had had the preaching that thou hast, they would 
have converted. And, you rulers and officers, be wise and 
circumspect, look to your charge, and see you do your 
duties ; and rather be glad to amend your ill living than to 
be angry when you are warned or told of your fault. What 
ado was there made in London at a certain man, because he 
said, (and indeed at that time on a just cause,) " Burgesses ! " 
quoth he, "nay. Butterflies." Lord, what ado there was 
for that word ! And yet would God they were no worse than 
butterflies ! Butterflies do but their nature : the butterfly 
is not covetous, is not greedy, of other men's goods ; is not 
full of envy and hatred, is not malicious, is not cruel, is not 
merciless. The butterfly glorieth not in her own deeds, 
nor preferreth the traditions of men before God's word; it 
committeth not idolatry, nor worshippeth false gods. But 
London cannot abide to be rebuked ; such is the nature of 
man. If they be pricked, they will kick ; if they be rubbed 
on the gall, they will wince ; but yet they will not amend 
their faults, they will not be ill spoken of But how shall I 
speak well of them ? If you could be content to receive 
and follow the word of God, and favour good preachers, 
if you could bear to be told of your faults, if you could 
amend when you hear of them, if you would be glad to 



Sermon of the Plough 59 

reform that is amiss ; if I might see any such inclination 
in you, that you would leave to be merciless, and begin to 
be charitable, I would then hope well of you, I would then 
speak well of you. But London was never so ill as it is 
now. In times past men were full of pity and compassion, 
but now there is no pity ; for in London their brother shall 
die in the streets for cold, he shall lie sick at the door 
between stock and stock, I cannot tell what to call it, and 
perish there for hunger : was there ever more unmercifulness 
in Nebo ? I think not. In times past, when any rich man 
died in London, they were wont to help the poor scholars 
of the Universities with exhibition. When any man died, 
they would bequeath great sums of money toward the relief 
of the poor. When I was a scholar in Cambridge myself, 
I heard very good report of London, and knew many that 
had relief of the rich men of London : but now I can hear 
no such good report, and yet I inquire of it, and hearken 
for it ; but now charity is waxen cold, none helpeth the 
scholar, nor yet the poor. And in those days, what did they 
when they helped the scholars ? Marry, they maintained 
and gave them livings that were very papists, and professed 
the pope's doctrine : and now that the knowledge of God's 
word is brought to light, and many earnestly study and 
labour to set it forth, now almost no man helpeth to maintain 
them. 

Oh London, London ! repent, repent ; for I think God 
is more displeased with London than ever he was with the 
city of Nebo. Repent therefore, repent, London, and re- 
member that the same God liveth now that punished Nebo, 
even the same God, and none other ; and he will punish 
sin as well now as he did then : and he will punish the 
iniquity of London, as well as he did then of Nebo. Amend 
therefore. And ye that be prelates, look well to your office ; 
for right prelating is busy labouring, and not lording. 
Therefore preach and teach, and let your plough be doing. 
Ye lords, I say, that live like loiterers, look well to your 
office ; the plough is your office and charge. If you live 
idle and loiter, you do not your duty, you follow not your 
vocation : let your plough therefore be going, and not cease, 
that the ground may bring forth fruit. 

But now methinketh I hear one say unto me : Wot ye 
what you say? Is it a work? Is it a labour? How then 
hath it happened that we have had so many hundred years 



6o Sermon of the Plough 

so many unpreaching prelates, lording loiterers, and idle 
ministers? Ye would have me here to make answer, and 
to shew the cause thereof. Nay, this land is not for me to 
plough ; it is too stony, too thorny, too hard for me to 
plough. They have so many things that make for them, 
so many things to lay for themselves, that it is not for my 
weak team to plough them. They have to lay for them- 
selves long customs, ceremonies and authority, placing in 
parliament, and many things more. And I fear me this 
land is not yet ripe to be ploughed : for, as the saying is, 
it lacketh weathering : this gear lacketh weathering ; at least 
way it is not for me to plough. For what shall I look for 
among thorns, but pricking and scratching ? What among 
stones, but stumbling? What (I had almost said) among 
serpents, but stinging ? But this much I dare say, that 
since lording and loitering hath come up, preaching hath 
come down, contrary to the apostles' times : for they preached 
and lorded not, and now they lord and preach not. For 
they that be lords will ill go to plough : it is no meet office 
for them ; it is not seeming for their estate. Thus came up 
lording loiterers : thus crept in unpreaching prelates ; and so 
have they long continued. For how many unlearned prelates 
have we now at this day ! And no marvel : for if the 
ploughmen that now be were made lords, they would clean 
give over ploughing ; they would leave off their labour, 
and fall to lording outright, and let the plough stand : and 
then both ploughs not walking, nothing should be in the 
commonweal but hunger. For ever since the prelates were 
made lords and nobles, the plough standeth ; there is no work 
done, the people starve. They hawk, they hunt, they card, 
they dice ; they pastime in their prelacies with gallant gentle- 
men, with their dancing minions, and with their fresh com- 
panions, so that ploughing is set aside : and by their lording 
and loitering, preaching and ploughing is clean gone. And 
thus if the ploughmen of the country were as negligent in 
their office as prelates be, we should not long live, for lack 
of sustenance. And as it is necessary for to have this 
ploughing for the sustentation of the body, so must we have 
also the other for the satisfaction of the soul, or else we 
cannot live long ghostly. For as the body wasteth and 
consumeth away for lack of bodily meat, so doth the soul 
pine away for default of ghostly meat. But there be two 
kinds of inclosing, to let or hinder both these kinds of 



Sermon of the Plough 6i 

ploughing ; the one is an inclosing to let or hinder the 
bodily ploughing, and the other to let or hinder the holiday- 
ploughing, the church-ploughing. 

The bodily ploughing is taken in and inclosed through 
singular commodity. For what man will let go, or diminish 
his private commodity for a commonwealth ? And who will 
sustain any damage for the respect of a public commodity ? 
The other plough also no man is diligent to set forward, 
nor no man will hearken to it. But to hinder and let it 
all men's ears are open ; yea, and a great many of this 
kind of ploughmen, which are very busy, and would seem 
to be very good workmen. I fear me some be rather mock- 
gospellers, than faithful ploughmen. I know many myself 
that profess the gospel, and live nothing thereafter. I know 
them, and have been conversant with some of them. I know 
them, and (I speak it with a heavy heart) there is as little 
charity and good living in them as in any other ; according 
to that which Christ said in the gospel to the great number 
of people that followed him, as though they had had any 
earnest zeal to his doctrine, whereas indeed they had it not ; 
Non quia vidistis signa, sed quia comedistis de panibus. 
"Ye follow me," saith he, "not because ye have seen the 
signs and miracles that I have done ; but because ye have 
eaten the bread, and refreshed your bodies, therefore you 
follow me." So that I think many one now-a-days professeth 
the gospel for the living's sake, not for the love they bear to 
God's word. But they that will be true ploughmen must 
work faithfully for God's sake, for the edifying of their 
brethren. And as diligently as the husbandman plougheth 
for the sustentation of the body, so diligently must the 
prelates and ministers labour for the feeding of the soul : 
both the ploughs must still be going, as most necessary for 
man. And wherefore are magistrates ordained, but that the 
tranquillity of the commonweal may be confirmed, limiting 
both ploughs? 

But now for the fault of unpreaching prelates, methink I 
could guess what might be said for excusing of them. They 
are so troubled with lordly living, they be so placed in 
palaces, couched in courts, ruffling in their rents, dancing in 
their dominions, burdened with ambassages, pampering of 
their paunches, like a monk that maketh his jubilee ; munch- 
ing in their mangers, and moiling in their gay manors and 
mansions, and so troubled with loitering in their lordships^ 



62 Sermon of the Plough 

that they cannot attend it. They are otherwise occupied, 
some in the king's matters, some are ambassadors, some of 
the privy council, some to furnish the court, some are lords 
of the parliament, some are presidents, and comptrollers of 
mints. 

Well, well, is this their duty ? Is this their office ? Is 
this their calling ? Should we have ministers of the church 
to be comptrollers of the mints ? Is this a meet office for a 
priest that hath cure of souls? Is this his charge? I would 
here ask one question : I would fain know who controlleth 
the devil at home in his parish, while he controlleth the 
mint ? If the apostles might not leave the office of preaching 
to the deacons, shall one leave it for minting ? I cannot 
tell you; but the saying is, that since priests have been 
minters, money hath been worse than it was before. And 
they say that the evilness of money hath made all things 
dearer. And in this behalf I must speak to England. " Hear, 
my country, England," as Paul said in his first epistle to 
the Corinthians, the sixth chapter ; for Paul was no sitting 
bishop, but a walking and a preaching bishop. But when he 
went from them, he left there behind him the plough going 
still ; for he wrote unto them, and rebuked them for going 
to law, and pleading their causes before heathen judges : " Is 
there," saith he, " utterly among you no wise man, to be an 
arbitrator in matters of Judgment ? What, not one of all 
that can judge between brother and brother ; but one brother 
goeth to law with another, and that under heathen judges ? 
Constituite coiitemptos qui sunt in ecclesia, &c. Appoint 
them judges that are most abject and vile in the congre- 
gation." Which he speaketh in rebuking them ; " For," 
saith he, ad erubescentiam vestrani dico — " I speak it to 
your shame." So, England, I speak it to thy shame : is 
there never a nobleman to be a lord president, but it must 
be a prelate ? Is there never a wise man in the realm 
to be a comptroller of the mint? " I speak it to your shame. 
I speak it to your shame." If there be never a wise man, 
make a water-bearer, a tinker, a cobbler, a slave, a page, 
comptroller of the mint : make a mean gentleman, a groom, 
a yeoman, or a poor beggar, lord president. 

Thus I speak, not that I would have it so ; but " to your 
shame," if there be never a gentleman meet nor able to be 
lord president. For why are not the noblemen and young 
gentlemen of England so brought up in knowledge of God, 



Sermon of the Plough 63 

and in learning, that they may be able to execute offices in 
the commonweal ? The king hath a great many of wards, 
and I trow there is a Court of Wards : why is there not a 
school for the wards, as well as there is a Court for their 
lands ? Why are they not set in schools where they may 
learn? Or why are they not sent to the universities, that 
they may be able to serve the" king when they come to age ? 
If the wards and young gentlemen were well brought up in 
learning, and in the knowledge of God, they would not when 
they come to age so much give themselves to other vanities. 
And if the nobility be well trained in godly learning, the 
people would follow the same train. For truly, such as the 
noblemen be, such will the people be. And now, the only 
cause why noblemen be not made lord presidents, is because 
they have not been brought up in learning. 

Therefore for the love of God appoint teachers and 
schoolmasters, you that have charge of youth ; and give the 
teachers stipends worthy their pains, that they may bring 
them up in grammar, in logic, in rhetoric, in philosophy, in 
the civil law, and in that which I cannot leave unspoken of, 
the word of God. Thanks be unto God, the nobility other- 
wise is very well brought up in learning and godliness, to 
the great joy and comfort of England ; so that there is now 
good hope in the youth, that we shall another day have a 
flourishing commonweal, considering their godly education. 
Yea, and there be already noblemen enough, though not so 
many as I would wish, able to be lord presidents, and wise 
men enough for the mint. And as unmeet a thing it is for 
bishops to be lord presidents, or priests to be minters, as it 
was for the Corinthians to plead matters of variance before 
heathen judges. It is also a slander to the noblemen, as 
though they lacked wisdom and learning to be able for such 
offices, or else were no men of conscience, or else were not 
meet to be trusted, and able for such offices. And a prelate 
hath a charge and cure otherwise ; and therefore he cannot 
discharge his duty and be a lord president too. For a 
presidentship requireth a whole man ; and a bishop cannot 
be two men. A bishop hath his office, a flock to teach, to 
look unto ; and therefore he cannot meddle with another 
office, which alone requireth a whole man : he should there- 
fore give it over to whom it is meet, and labour in his own 
business ; as Paul writeth to the Thessalonians, " Let every 
man do his own business, and follow his calling." Let the 



64 Sermon of the Plough 

priest preach, and the noblemen handle the temporal matters. 
Moses was a marvellous man, a good man : Moses was a 
wonderful fellow, and did his duty, being a married man : 
we lack such as Moses was. Well, I would all men would 
look to their duty, as God hath called them, and then we 
should have a flourishing christian commonweal. 

And now I would ask a strange question : who is the 
most dihgentest bishop and prelate in all England, that 
passeth all the rest in doing his office ? I can tell, for I 
know him who it is ; I know him well. But now I think I 
see you listening and hearkening that I should name him. 
There is one that passeth all the other, and is the most 
diligent prelate and preacher in all England. And will ye 
know who it is ? I will tell you : it is the devil. He is the 
most diligent preacher of all other ; he is never out of his 
diocess; he is never from his cure ; ye shall never find him 
unoccupied ; he is ever in his parish ; he keepeth residence 
at all times ; ye shall never find him out of the way, call 
for him when you will he is ever at home ; the diligentest 
preacher in all the realm ; he is ever at his plough : no 
lording nor loitering can hinder him ; he is ever applying 
his business, ye shall never find him idle, I warrant you. 
And his office is to hinder religion, to maintain superstition, 
to set up idolatry, to teach all kind of popery. He is ready 
as he can be wished for to set forth his plough ; to devise 
as many ways as can be to deface and obscure God's glory. 
Where the devil is resident, and hath his plough going, there 
away with books, and up with candles ; away with bibles, and 
up with beads ; away with the light of the gospel, and up 
with the light of candles, yea, at noon-days. Where the 
devil is resident, that he may prevail, up with all superstition 
and idolatry ; censing, painting of images, candles, palms, 
ashes, holy water, and new service of men's inventing ; as 
though man could invent a better way to honour God with 
than God himself hath appointed. Down with Christ's cross, 
up with purgatory pickpurse, up with him, the popish pur- 
gatory, I mean. Away with clothing the naked, the poor 
and impotent ; up with decking of images, and gay garnishing 
of stocks and stones : up with man's traditions and his laws, 
down with God's traditions and his most holy word. Down 
with the old honour due to God, and up with the new god's 
honour. Let all things be done in Latin : there must be 
nothing but Latin, not so much as Memento, homo, quod cinis 



Sermon of the Plough 65 

es, et in cinerem reverteris : " Remember, man, that thou 
art ashes, and into ashes thou shalt return : " which be the 
words that the minister speaketh unto the ignorant people,, 
when he giveth them ashes upon Ash-Wednesday ; but it 
must be spoken in Latin : God's word may in no wise be 
translated into English. 

Oh that our prelates would be as diligent to sow the corr 
of good doctrine, as Satan is to sow cockle and darnel ! And 
this is the devilish ploughing, the which worketh to have 
things in Latin, and letteth the fruitful edification. But here 
some man will say to me, What, sir, are ye so privy of the 
devil's counsel, that ye know all this to be true ? Truly I 
know him too well, and have obeyed him a little too much in 
condescending to some follies ; and I know him as other men 
do, yea, that he is ever occupied, and ever busy in following 
his plough. I know by St Peter, which saith of him, Sicut 
leo rugiens circuit qiicBrens quem devoret : "He goeth about 
like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." I would 
have this text well viewed and examined, every word of it : 
" Circuit^'' he goeth about in every corner of his diocess ; 
he goeth on visitation daily, he leaveth no place of his cure 
unvisited : he walketh round about from place to place, and 
ceaseth not. " Sicut leo,'" as a lion, that is, strongly, boldly, 
and proudly ; stately and fiercely with haughty looks, with 
his proud countenances, with his stately braggings. " Ru- 
giens" roaring ; for he letteth not slip any occasion to speak 
or to roar out when he seeth his time. Qucsrens, he goeth 
about seeking, and not sleeping, as our bishops do ; but he 
seeketh diligently, he searcheth diligently all corners, where 
as he may have his prey. He roveth abroad in every place 
of his diocess ; he standeth not still, he is never at rest, but 
ever in hand with his plough, that it may go forward. But 
there was never such a preacher in England as he is. Who 
is able to tell his diligent preaching, which every day, and 
every hour, laboureth to sow cockle and darnel, that he may 
bring out of form, and out of estimation and room, the in- 
stitution of the Lord's supper and Christ's cross ? For there 
he lost his right; for Christ said, Nunc judicium est niundi, 
princeps scculi hujus ejicietur foras. Et sicut exaltavit 
Moses serpentein in deserto, ita exalt ari oportet Filium h)mi- 
nis. Et cutn exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad 
meipsum. " Now is the judgment of this world, and the 
prince of this world shall be cast out. And as Moses did 



66 Sermon of the Plough 

lift up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man 
be lift up. And when I shall be lift up from the earth, I 
will draw all things unto myself." For the devil was dis- 
appointed of his purpose : for he thought all to be his own ; 
and when he had once brought Christ to the cross, he 
thought all cocksure. But there lost he all reigning : for 
Christ said. Omnia traham ad meipsum : " I will draw 
all things to myself." He meaneth, drawing of man's soul 
to salvation. And that he said he would do per semetipsum, 
by his own self; not by any other body's sacrifice. He 
meant by his own sacrifice on the cross, where he offered 
himself for the redemption of mankind ; and not the sacrifice 
of the mass to be offered by another. For who can offer 
him but him.self ? He was both the offerer and the offering. 
And this is the prick, this is the mark at the which the 
devil shooteth, to evacuate the cross of Christ, and to mingle 
the institution of the Lord's supper ; the which although 
he cannot bring to pass, yet he goeth about by his sleights 
and subtil means to frustrate the same ; and these fifteen 
hundred years he hath been a doer, only purposing to 
evacuate Christ's death, and to make it of small efficacy and 
virtue. For whereas Christ, according as the serpent was 
lifted up in the wilderness, so would he himself be exalted, 
that thereby as many as trusted in him should have salvation ; 
but the devil would none of that : they would have us 
saved by a daily oblation propitiatory, by a sacrifice expiatory, 
or remissory. 

Now if I should preach in the country, among the un- 
learned, I would tell what propitiatory, expiatory, and 
remissory is;. but here is a learned auditory; yet for them 
that be unlearned I will expound it. Propitiatory, expiatory, 
remissory, or satisfactory, for they signify all one thing in 
effect, and is nothing else but a thing whereby to obtain 
remission of sins, and to have salvation. And this way the 
devil used to evacuate the death of Christ, that we might 
have affiance in other things, as in the sacrifice of the 
priest ; whereas Christ would have us to trust in his only 
sacrifice. So he was, Agnus occisus ab origiHe mu7idi ; 
" The Lamb that hath been slain from the beginning of the 
world;" and therefore he is called juge sacrificium, "a 
continual sacrifice ; " and not for the continuance of the mass, 
as the blanchers have blanched it, and wrested it ; and as I 
myself did once betake it. But Paul saith, /<rr semetipsum 



Sermon of the Plough 67 

purgatio facta : " By himself," and by none other, Christ 
" made purgation " and satisfaction for the whole world. 

Would Christ this word, " by himself," had been better 
weighed and looked upon, and m sanctificationem, to make 
them holy ; for he is juge sacrificium, " a continual sacrifice," 
in effect, fruit and operation ; that Hke as they, which seeing 
the serpent hang up in the desert, were put in remembrance 
of Christ's death, in v^hom as many as believed were saved ; 
so all men that trusted in the death of Christ shall be saved, 
as well they that were before, as they that came after. For 
he was a continual sacrifice, as I said, in effect, fruit, opera- 
tion, and virtue ; as though he had from the beginning of 
the world, and continually should to the world's end, hang 
still on the cross ; and he is as fresh hanging on the cross 
now, to them that believe and trust in him, as he was fifteen 
hundred years ago, when he was crucified. 

Then let us trust upon his only death, and look for none 
other sacrifice propitiatory, than the same bloody sacrifice, 
the lively sacrifice ; and not the dry sacrifice, but a bloody 
sacrifice. For Christ himself said, consuinmatum est : " It is 
perfectly finished : I have taken at my Father's hand the 
dispensation of redeeming mankind, I have wrought man's 
redemption, and have despatched the matter." Why then 
mingle ye him ? Why do ye divide him ? Why make you 
of him more sacrifices than one ? Paul saith, Pascha 
nostrum immolatus est Christus : " Christ our passover is 
offered ; " so that the thing is done, and Christ hath done 
it, and he hath done it seme/, once for all ; and it was a 
bloody sacrifice, not a dry sacrifice. Why then, it is not the 
mass that availeth or profiteth for the quick and the dead. 

Wo worth thee, O devil, wo worth thee, that hast prevailed 
sp far and so long ; that hast made England to worship 
false gods, forsaking Christ their Lord. Wo worth thee, 
devil, wo worth thee, devil, and all thy angels. If Christ 
by his death draweth all things to himself, and draweth 
all men to salvation, and to heavenly bliss, that trust 
in him ; then the priests at the mass, at the popish mass, 
I say, what can they draw, when Christ draweth all, but 
lands and goods from the right heirs ? The priests draw 
goods and riches, benefices and promotions to themselves ; 
and such as believed in their sacrifices they draw to the 
devil. But Christ is he that draweth souls unto him by 
his bloody sacrifice. What have we to do then but epulari 



68 Sermon of the Plough 

in Domino, to eat in the Lord at his supper ? What other 
service have we to do to him, and what other sacrifice 
have we to offer, but the mortification of our flesh ? What 
other oblation have we to make, but of obedience, of good 
living, of good works, and of helping our neighbours ? 
But as for our redemption, it is done already, it cannot 
be better : Christ hath done that thing so well, that it 
cannot be amended. It cannot be /levised how to make 
that any better than he hath done it. But the devil, by 
the help of that Italian bishop yonder, his chaplain, hath 
laboured by all means that he might to frustrate the death 
of Christ and the merits of his passion. And they have 
devised for that purpose to make us believe in other vain 
things by his pardons : as to have remission of sins for pray- 
ing on hallowed beads ; for drinking of the bakehouse bowl ; 
as a canon of Waltham Abbey once told me, that whensoever 
they put their loaves of bread into the oven, as many as 
drank of the pardon-bowl should have pardon for drinking 
of it. A mad thing, to give pardon to a bowl ! Then to 
pope Alexander's holy water, to hallowed bells, palms, 
candles, ashes, and what not ? And of these things, every 
one hath taken away some part of Christ's sanctification ; 
every one hath robbed some part of Christ's passion and 
cross, and hath mingled Christ's death, and hath been made 
to be propitiatory and satisfactory, and to put away sin. 
Yea, and Alexander's holy water yet at this day remaineth 
in England, and is used for a remedy against spirits and 
to chase away devils ; yea, and I would this had been the 
worst. I would this were the worst. But wo worth thee, 
O devil, that hast prevailed to evacuate Christ's cross, and 
to mingle the Lord's supper. These be the Italian bishop's 
devices, and the devil hath pricked at this mark to frustrate 
the cross of Christ : he shot at this mark long before Christ 
came, he shot at it four thousand years before Christ hanged 
on the cross, or suffered his passion. 

For the brasen serpent was set up in the wilderness, to 
put men in remembrance of Christ's coming ; that like as 
they which beheld the brasen serpent were healed of their 
bodily diseases, so they that looked spiritually upon Christ 
that was to come, in him should be saved spiritually from 
the devil. The serpent was set up in memory of Christ to 
come ; but the devil found means to steal away the memory 
of Christ's coming, and brought the people to worship the 



Sermon of the Plough 69 

serpent itself, and to cense him, to honour him, and to offer 
to him, to worship him, and to make an idol of him. And 
this was done by the market-men that I told you of. And 
the clerk of the market did it for the lucre and advantage 
of his master, that thereby his honour might increase ; for 
by Christ's death he could have but small worldly advantage. 
And so even now so hath he certain blanchers belonging to 
the market, to let and stop the light of the gospel, and to 
hinder the king's proceedings in setting forth the word and 
glory of God. And when the king's majesty, with the 
advice of his honourable council, goeth about to promote 
God's word, and to set an order in matters of religion, there 
shall not lack blanchers that will say, "As for images, whereas 
they have used to be censed, and to have candles offered 
unto them, none be so foolish to do it to the stock or stone, 
or to the image itself ; but it is done to God and his honour 
before the image." And though they should abuse it, these 
blanchers will be ready to whisper the king in the ear, and 
to tell him, that this abuse is but a small matter ; and that 
the same, with all other like abuses in the church, may be 
reformed easily. " It is but a little abuse," say they, " and 
it may be easily amended. But it should not be taken in 
hand at the first, for fear of trouble or further inconveniences. 
The people will not bear sudden alterations ; an insurrection 
may be made after sudden mutation, which may be to the 
great harm and loss of the realm. Therefore all things shall 
be well, but not out of hand, for fear of further business." 
These be the blanchers, that hitherto have stopped the word 
of Gk)d, and hindered the true setting forth of the same. 
There be so many put-offs, so many put-byes, so many 
respects and considerations of worldly wisdom : and I doubt 
not but there were blanchers in the old time to whisper in 
the ear of good king Hezekiah, for the maintenance of idolatry 
done to the brasen serpent, as well as there hath been 
now of late, and be now, that can blanch the abuse of images, 
and other like things. But good king Hezekiah would not 
be so blinded ; he was like to Apollos, " fervent in spirit." 
He would give no ear to the blanchers ; he was not moved 
with the worldly respects, with these prudent considerations, 
with these policies : he feared not insurrections of the people : 
he feared not lest his people would not bear the glory of 
God ; but he, without any of these respects, or policies, or 
considerations, like a good king, for God's sake and for 



70 Sermon of the Plough 

conscience sake, by and by plucked down the brasen serpent, 
and destroyed it utterly, and beat it to powder. He out 
of hand did cast out all images, he destroyed all idolatry, 
and clearly did extirpate all superstition. He would not 
hear these blanchers and worldly-wise men, but without 
delay followeth God's cause, and destroyeth all idolatry 
out of hand. Thus did good king Hezekiah ; for he was 
like Apollos, fervent in spirit, and diligent to promote God's 
glory. 

And good hope there is, that it shall be likewise here in 
England ; for the king's majesty is so brought up in know- 
ledge, virtue, and godliness, that it is not to be mistrusted 
but that we shall have all things well, and that the glory 
of God shall be spread abroad throughout all parts of the 
realm, if the prelates will diligently apply their plough, and 
be preachers rather than lords. But our blanchers, which 
will be lords, and no labourers, when they are commanded 
to go and be resident upon their cures, and preach in their 
benefices, they would say, "What? I have set a deputy 
there ; I have a deputy that looketh well to my flock, and 
the which shall discharge my duty." "A deputy," quoth 
he ! I looked for that word all this while. And what a 
deputy must he be, trow ye ? Even one like himself : he 
must be a can&nist ; that is to say, one that is brought up 
in the study of the pope's laws and decrees ; one that will 
set forth papistry as well as himself will do; and one that 
will maintain all superstition and idolatry; and one that will 
nothing at all, or else very weakly, resist the devil's plough : 
yea, happy it is if he take no part with the devil ; and where 
he should be an enemy to him, it is well if he take not the 
devil's part against Christ. 

But in the mean time the prelates take their pleasures. 
They are lords, and no labourers : but the devil is diligent 
at his plough. He is no unpreaching prelate : he is no 
lordly loiterer from his cure, but a busy ploughman ; so 
that among all the prelates, and among all the pack of them 
that have cure, the devil shall go for my money, for he still 
applieth his business. Therefore, ye unpreaching prelates, 
learn of the devil : to be diligent in doing of your office, 
learn of the devil : and if you will not learn of God, nor 
good men, for shame learn of the devil ; ad erubescentiam 
vestram dico, " I speak it for your shame : " if you will not 
learn of God, nor good men, to be diligent in your office, 



Sermon of the Plough 71 

learn of the devil. Howbeit there is now very good hope 
that the king's majesty, being by the help of good governance 
of his most honourable counsellors trained and brought up 
in learning, and knowledge of God's word, will shortly provide 
a remedy, and set an order herein ; which thing that it 
may so be, let us pray for him. Pray for him, good 
people ] pray for him. Ye have great cause and need to pray 
for him. 



SERMONS PREACHED BEFORE KING 
EDWARD THE SIXTH 



The First Sermon preached before King Edward, 
March 8, 1549. 

Quaeciinque scripta sunt, ad nostram doctrinam scripta sunt. — 
Romans xv. 4. 

Whatsoever things are written aforetime, are written for our learning ; 
that we through patience and comfort of scripture might have hope. 

In taking this part of scripture, most noble audience, I play 
as a truant, which, when he is at school, will choose a lesson 
wherein he is perfect, because he is loth to take pain in 
studying a new lesson, or else feareth stripes for his slothful- 
ness. In like manner, I might seem, now in my old age, 
to some men to take this part of scripture, because I would 
wade easily away therewith, and drive my matter at my 
pleasure,, and not to be bound unto a certain theme. But 
ye shall consider, that the foresaid words of Paul are not 
to be understanded of all scriptures, but only of those which 
are of God written in God's book ; and all things which are 
therein " are written for our learning." The excellency of 
this word is so great, and of so high dignity, that there is 
no earthly thing to be compared unto it. The author thereof 
is great, that is, God himself, eternal, almighty, everlasting. 
The scripture, because of him, is also great, eternal, most 
mighty and holy. There is no king, emperor, magistrate, 
and ruler, of what state soever they be, but are bound to 
obey this God, and to give credence unto his holy word, in 
directing their steps ordinately according unto the same word. 
Yea, truly, they are not only bound to obey God's book, but 
also the minister of the same, " for the word's sake," so far 
as he speaketh " sitting in Moses' chair ; " that is, if his 
doctrine be taken out of Moses' law. For in this world God 
hath two swords, the one is a temporal sword, the other a 

72 



First Sermon 73 

spiritual. The temporal sword resteth in the hands of kings, 
magistrates, and rulers, under him ; whereunto all subjects, as 
well the clergy as the laity, be subject, and punishable for 
any offence pontrary to the same book. The spiritual sword 
is in the bands of the ministers and preachers ; whereunto 
all kin^s, magistrates, and rulers, ought to be obedient ; that 
is, to hear and follow, so long as the ministers sit in Christ's 
chair ; that is, speaking out of Christ's book. The king cor- 
recteth transgressors with the temporal sword ; yea, and the 
preacher also, if he be an offender. But the preacher cannot 
correct the king, if he be a transgressor of God's word, with 
the temporal sword ; but he must correct and reprove him 
with the spiritual sword ; fearing no man ; setting God only 
before his eyes, under whom he is a minister, to supplant 
and root up all vice and mischief by God's word : whereunto 
all men ought to be obedient ; as is mentioned in many 
places of scripture, and amongst many this is one, Qucecun- 
que jusserint vos servare, servate et facite : " Whatsoever 
they bid you observe, that observe and do." Therefore let 
the preacher teach, improve, amend, and instruct in right- 
eousness, with the spiritual sword ; fearing no man, though 
death should ensue. Thus Moses, fearing no man, with this 
sword did reprove king Pharao at God's commandment. 

Micheas the prophet also did not spare to blame king 
Ahab for his wickedness, according to God's will, and to 
prophesy of his destruction, contrary unto many false prophets. 
These foresaid kings, being admonished by the ministers of 
God's word, because they would not follow their godly doc- 
trine, and correct their lives, came unto utter destruction. 
Pharao giving no credit unto Moses, the prophet of God, 
but appliant unto the lusts of his own heart, what time he 
heard of the passage of God's people, having no fear or 
remembrance of God's work, he with his army did prosecute 
after, intending to destroy them ; but he and his people were 
drowned in the Red Sea. King Achab also, because he 
would not hearken unto Micheas, was killed with an arrow. 
Likewise also the house of Jeroboam, with other many, came 
unto destruction, because he would not hear the ministers 
of God's word, and correct his life according unto his will 
and pleasure. Let the preacher therefore never fear to 
declare the message of God unto all men. And if the king 
will not hear them, then the preachers may admonish and 
charge them with their duties, and so leave them unto God, 



74 First Sermon preached before 

and pray for them. But if the preachers digress out of 
Christ's chair, and shall speak their own phantasies, then 
instead of, Qucecunque jusserint vos facere, facite et servate, 
*' Whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do," 
change it into these words following, Cavete vero vobis a 
pseudo-prophetis, qui vetiiunt ad vos, &c., " Beware of false 
prophets, which come unto you in sheep's clothing, but in- 
wardly they are ravening wolves : ye shall know them by 
their fruits." Yea, change Qucecunque jusserint, if their 
doctrine be evil, into Cavete a fermento Fharisceorum, &c., 
that is, "Take heed, and beware of the leaven of the 
Pharisees and of the Sadducees." 

In teaching evil doctrine all preachers are to be eschewed, 
and in no wise to be hearkened unto : in speaking truth 
they are to be heard. All things written in God's book are 
most certain, true, and profitable for all men : for in it is 
contained meet matter for kings, princes, rulers, bishops, and 
for all states. Wherefore it behoveth every preacher some- 
what to appoint and accommodate himself and his matter, 
agreeable unto the comfort and amendment of the audience 
unto the which he declareth the message of God. If he 
preach before a king, let his matter be concerning the office 
of a king ; if before a bishop, then let him treat of bishoply 
duties and orders ; and so forth in other matters, as time and 
audience shall require. 

I have thought it good to entreat upon these words fol- 
lowing, which are written in the seventeenth chapter of 
Deuteronomy, Cwn veneris in terram quam Domitius Deus 
dat tibi possederisque earn, &c., that is, " When thou art 
come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and 
enjoyest it, and dwellest therein ; if thou shalt say, I will set 
a king over me, like unto all the nations that are about me ; 
then thou shalt make him king over thee whom the Lord 
thy God shall choose. One of thy brethren must thou make 
king over thee, and mayest not set a stranger over thee, 
which is not of thy brethren. But in any wise let him not 
hold too many horses, that he bring not the people again to 
Egypt through the multitude of horses : forasmuch as the 
Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth go no more 
again that way. Also he shall not have too many wives, lest 
his heart turn away : neither shall he gather him silver and 
gold too much." 

As in divers other places of scripture is meet matter for 



King Edward the Sixth 75 

all estates, so in this foresaid place is described chiefly the 
doctrine fit for a king. ' But who is worthy to utter this 
doctrine before our most noble king? Not I, God knoweth, 
which am through age both weak in body and oblivious : 
unapt I am, not only because of painful study, but also for 
the short warning. Well, unto God I will make my moan, 
who never failed me. Auxiliator in necessitatibus, " God is 
my helper in all my necessities ;" to him alone will I make 
my petition. To pray unto saints departed I am not taught : 
to desire like grace of God as they had, right godly it is ; 
01 to believe God to be no less merciful unto us, being 
faithful, than he was unto them, greatly comfortable it is. 
Therefore only unto God let us lift up our hearts, and say 
the Lord's prayer. 

" Cum veneris, iSrV. — When thou art come unto the land which the 
Lord, &c. Thou shalt appoint him king, &c." 

1. "One of the brethren must' thou make king over 
thee ; and must not set a stranger over thee, which is not 
of thy brethren. 

2. " But in any wise let not such one prepare unto 
himself many horses, that he bring not, &c. 

3. " Furthermore, let him not prepare unto himself 
many wives, lest his heart recede from God. 

4. " Nor he shall not multiply unto himself too much 
gold and silver." 

As the text doth rise, I will touch and go a little in 
every place, until I come unto — "too much." I will touch all 
the foresaid things, but not— "too much." The text is, "When 
thou shalt come into the land," &c. To have a king the 
Israelites did with much importunity call unto God, and God 
long before promised them a king ; and they were fully cer- 
tified thereof, that God had promised that thing. For unto 
Abraham he said, Ego crescere te faciam vehementer, ponam- 
que te in gentes, sed et reges ex te prodibunt : that is, "I will 
multiply thee exceedingly, and will make nations of thee ; 
yea, and kings shall spring out of thee." These words were 
spoken long before the children of Israel had any king. 
Notwithstanding, yet God prescribed unto them an order, 
how they should choose their king, and what manner of man 
he should be, where he saith, " When thou shalt come into 
the land," &c. As who should say, " O ye children of Israel, 
I know your nature right well, which is evil, and inclined 



76 First Sermon preached before 

unto all evils. I know that thou wilt choose a king to reign 
over thee, and to appear glorious in the face of the world, 
after the manner of gentiles. But because they art stiff- 
necked, wild, and art given to walk without a bridle and 
line, therefore now I will prevent thy evil and beastly man- 
ners ; I will hedge strongly thy way ; I will make a durable 
law, which shall compel thee to walk ordinately, and in a 
plain way : that is, thou shalt not choose thee a king after 
thy will and phantasy, but after me thy Lord and God." 

Thus God conditioned with the Jews, that their king 
should be such a one as he himself would choose them. This 
was not much unlike a bargain that I heard of late should 
be betwixt two friends for a horse : the owner promised the 
other should have the horse if he would; the other asked 
the price ; he said twenty nobles. The other would give 
him but four pound. The owner said he should not have 
him then. The other claimed the horse, because he said 
he should have him if he would. Thus this bargain became 
a Westminster matter : the lawyers got twice the value of 
the horse ; and when all came to' all, two fools made an end 
of the matter. Howbeit the Israelites could not go to law 
with God for choosing their king ; for would they, nil they, 
their king should be of his choosing, lest they should walk 
inordinately in a deceivable way, unto their utter loss and 
destruction : for, as they say commonly. Qui vadit plane, 
vadit sane; that is, "He that walketh plamly, walketh 
safely." As the Jews were stiff-necked, and were ever 
ready to walk inordinately, no less are we Englishmen given 
to untowardness, and inordinate walking after our own phan- 
tasies and brains. We will walk without the limits of God's 
word ; we will choose a king at our own pleasure. But let 
us learn to frame our lives after the noble king David, which 
when he had many occasions given of king Saul to work 
evil for evil, yea, and having many times opportunity to 
perform mischief, and to slay king Saul ; nevertheless yet 
fearing, would not follow his fleshly affections, and walk 
inordinately without the will of God's word, which he con- 
fessed always to be his direction, saying, Lucerna pedibus 
meis verbuiyi tuum et lumen seuiitis meis ; " Thy word, O 
Lord, is a lantern unto my feet, and a light unto my steps." 
Thus having in mind to walk ordinately, he did always avoid 
to do evil. For when king Saul was in a cave without any 
man, David and his men sitting by the sides of the cave, 



< 



King Edward the Sixth 77 

yea, and David's men moving him to kill Saul, David made 
answer and said unto them, Servet me Dominus, ne rem 
istam contra dominu7n meum Messiain, (S*^,, that is, " The 
Lord keep me from doing this thing unto my master, that 
is the Lord's anointed." At another time also, moved by 
Abishai to kill Saul sleeping, David said, Ne interficias eum ; 
quis enim iinpune inanum suam inferret undo Domino, <S»^., 
that is, "Destroy him not; for who can lay his hands on 
the Lord's anointed, and be guiltless ? " &c. I would God 
we would follow king David, and then we should walk or- 
dinately, and yet do but that we are bound of duty to do : 
for God saith, Quod ego prcecipio, hoc tantum facito, " That 
thing which I command, that only do." There is a great 
error risen now-a-days among many of us, which are vain 
and new-fangled men, climbing beyond the Hmits of our 
capacity and wit, in wrenching this text of scripture here- 
after following after their own phantasy and brain : their 
error^ is upon this text, Audi vocem populi in omnibus quce 
dicunt tibi ; non enim te reprobant, sed me reprobarunt ne 
regnem super eos : that is, "Hear the voice of the people 
in all that they say unto thee ; for they have not cast thee 
away, but me." They wrench these words awry after their 
own phantasies, and make much doubt as touching a king 
and his godly name. They that so do walk inordinately, 
they walk not directly and plainly, but delight in balks and 
stubble way. 

It maketh no matter by what name the rulers be named, 
if so be they shall walk ordinately with God, and direct their 
steps with God. For both patriarchs, judges, and kings, had 
and have their authority of God, and therefore gcdly. But 
this ought to be considered which God saith, ISIon prczficere 
tibi potes hominem alienum ; that is, "Thou must not set a 
stranger over thee." It hath pleased God to grant us a 
natural liege king and lord of our own nation ; an English- 
man ; one of our own rehgion. God hath given him unto us, 
and [he] is a most precious treasure ; and yet many of us do 
desire a stranger to be king over us. Let us no more now 
desire to be bye-walkers, but let us endeavour to walk or- 
dinately and plainly after the word of God. Let us follow 
David : let us not seek the death of our most noble and right- 
ful king, our own brother both by nativity and godly religion. 
Let us pray for his good state, that he live long among 
us. 



78 First Sermon preached before 

Oh, what a plague were it, that a strange king, of a 
strange land, and of a strange religion, should reign over us ! 
Where now we be governed in the true religion, he should 
extirp and pluck away altogether ; and then plant again all 
abomination and popery. God keep such a king from us ! 
Well, the king's Grace hath sisters, my lady Mary and my 
lady Elizabeth, which by succession and course are inheritors 
to the crown, who if they should marry with strangers, what 
should ensue? God knoweth. But God grant, if they so do, 
whereby strange religion cometh in, that they never come 
unto coursing nor succeeding. Therefore, to avoid this 
plague, let us amend our lives, and put away all pride, which 
doth drown men in this realm at these days ; all covetousness, 
wherein the magistrates and rich men of this realm are over- 
whelmed ; all lechery, and other excessive vices, provoking 
God's wrath (were he not merciful) even to take from us our 
natural king and liege lord ; yea, and to plague us with a 
strange king, for our unrepentant heart. Wherefore if, as 
ye say, ye love the king, amend your lives, and then ye 
shall be a mean that God shall lend him us long to reign 
over us. For undoubtedly sins provoke much God's wrath. 
Scripture saith, Dabo tibi regem in furore meo, that is, 
" I will give thee a king in my wrath." Now, we have a 
lawful king, a godly king : nevertheless, yet many evils do 
reign. Long time the ministers appointed have studied to 
amend and redress all evils ; long time before this great 
labour hath been about this matter ; great cracks hath been 
made, that all should be well : but when all came to all, for 
all their boasts, little or nothing was done ; in whom these 
words of Horace may well be verified, saying, Parturiunt 
monies, nascitur ridiculus mus, " The mountains swell up, 
the poor mouse is brought out." Long before this time 
many hath taken in hand to bring many things unto pass, 
but finally their works came unto small effect and profit. 

Now I hear say all things are ended after a godly man- 
ner, or else shortly shall be. Make haste, make haste ; and 
let us learn to convert, to repent, and amend our lives. If 
we do not, I fear, I fear lest for our sins and unthankfulness 
an hypocrite shall reign over us. Long we have been ser- 
vants and in bondage, serving the pope in Egypt. God hath 
given us a deliverer, a natural king : let us seek no stranger 
of another nation, no hypocrite which shall bring in again 
all papistry, hypocrisy, and idolatry ; no diabolical minister, 



King Edward the Sixth 79 

which shall maintain all devilish works and evil exercises. 
But let us pray that God maintain and continue our most 
excellent king here present, true inheritor of this our realm, 
both by nativity, and also by the special gift and ordinance 
of God. He doth us rectify in the liberty of the gospel ; 
in that therefore let us stand : State ergo in libertate qua 
Christus nos liberavit ; "Stand ye in the liberty wherewith 
Christ hath made us free." In Christ's liberty we shall 
stand, if we so live that we profit ; if we cast away all evil, 
fraud, and deceit, with such other vices, contrary to God's 
word. And in so doing, we shall not only prolong and 
maintain our most noble king's days in prosperity, but also 
we shall prosper our own lives, to live not only prosperously, 
but also godly. 

" In any wise, let not such a one prepare unto himself 
many horses," etc. In speaking these words, ye shall under- 
stand that I do not intend to speak against the strength, 
policy, and provision of a king ; but against excess, and vain 
trust that kings have in themselves more than in the living 
God, the author of all goodness, and giver of all victory. 
Many horses are requisite for a king ; but he may not exceed 
in them, nor triumph in them, more than is needful for the 
necessary affairs and defence of the realm. What meaneth 
it that God hath to do with the king's stable, but only he 
would be master of his horses ? The scripture saith, In altis 
habitat, " He dwelleth on high." It followeth, Humilia 
respicit, "He looketh on low things;" yea, upon the king's 
stables, and upon all the offices in his house. God is the 
great Grandmaster ^ of the king's house, and will take account 
of every one that beareth rule therein, for the executing of 
their offices ; whether they have justly and truly served the 
king in their offices, or no. Yea, God looketh upon the 
king himself, if he work well or not. Every king is subject 
unto God, and all other men are subjects unto the king. In 
a king God requireth faith, not excess of horses. Horses 
for a king be good and necessary, if they be well used ; but 
horses are not to be preferred above poor men. I was once 
offended with the king's horses, and therefore took occasion 
to speak in the presence of the king's majesty that dead is, 
when abbeys stood. Abbeys were ordained for the comfort 
of the poor : wherefore I said, it was not decent that the 
king's horses should be kept in them, as many were at that 
' The office now called Lord Chamberlain. 



8o First Sermon preached before 

time ; the living of poor men thereby minished and taken 
away. But afterward a certain nobleman said to me, What 
hast thou to do with the king's horses ? I answered and 
said, I spake my conscience, as God's word directed me. 
He said, Horses be the maintenances and part of a king's 
honour, and also of his realm ; wherefore in speaking against 
them, ye are against the king's honour. I answered, God 
teacheth what honour is decent for the king, and for all 
other men according unto their vocations. God appointeth 
every king a suiificient living for his state and degree, both 
by lands and other customs ; and it is lawful for every king 
to enjoy the same goods and possessions. But to extort and 
take away the right of the poor, is against the honour of the 
king. If you do move the king to do after that manner, 
then you speak against the honour of the king ; for I 
full certify 'you, extortioners, violent oppressors, ingrossers of 
tenements and lands, through whose covetousness villages 
decay and fall down, the king's liege people for lack of sus- 
tenance are famished and decayed, — they be those which 
speak against the honour of the king. God requireth in the 
king and all magistrates a good heart, to walk directly in 
his ways, and in all subjects an obedience due unto a king. 
Therefore I pray God both the king, and also we his people, 
may endeavour diligently to walk in his ways, to his great 
honour and our profit. 

" Let him not prepare unto himself too many wives," &c. 
Although we read here that the kings amongst the Jews had 
liberty to take more wives than one, we may not therefore 
attempt to walk inordinately, and to think that we may take 
also many wives. For Christ hath forbidden this unto us 
Christians. And let us not impute sin unto the Jews, because 
they had many wives ; for they had a dispensation so to do. 
Christ limiteth unto us one wife only ; and it is a great thing 
for a man to rule one wife rightly and ordinately. For a 
woman is frail, and proclive unto all evils : a woman is a very 
weak vessel, and may soon deceive a man and bring him unto 
evil. Many examples we have in holy scripture. Adam had 
but one wife, called Eve, and how soon had she brought him 
to consent unto evil, and to come to destruction ! How did 
wicked Jezebel pervert king Achab's heart from God and all 
godliness, and finally unto destruction ! It is a very hard 
thing for a man to rule well one woman. Therefore let our 
king, what time his grace shall be so minded to take a wife, 



King Edward the Sixth 8i 

choose him one which is of God ; that is, which is of the 
household of faith. Yea, let all estates be no less circumspect 
in choosing her, taking great deliberation, and then they 
shall not need divorcements, and such mischiefs, to the evil 
example and slander of our realm. And that she be such 
one as the king can find in his heart to love, and lead his life 
in pure and chaste espousage ; and then he shall be the more 
prone and ready to advance God's glory, and to punish and 
to extirp the great lechery used in this realm. 

Therefore we ought to make a continual prayer unto 
God for to grant our king's grace such a mate as may knit 
his heart and hers, according to God's ordinance and law ; 
and not to consider and cleave only to a politic matter 
or conjunction, for the enlarging of dominions, for surety and 
defence of countries, setting apart the institution and ordi- 
nance of God. We have now a pretty little shilling indeed, 
a very pretty one : I have but one, I think, in my purse ; and 
the last day I had put it away almost for an old groat : and 
so I trust some will take them. The fineness of the silver I 
cannot see : but therein is printed a fine sentence, that is, Timor 
Domini fons vit^ vel sapienti^e ; " The fear of the Lord 
is the fountain of life or wisdom." I would God this sentence 
were always printed in the heart of the king in choosing his 
wife, and in all his officers. For like as the fear of God is 
fons sapientce or vitcB, so the forgetting of God is fons stul- 
titicB, the fountain of foolishness, or of death, although it be 
never< so politic ; for upon such politic matters death doth 
ensue and follow ; all their divorcements and other like 
conditions, to the great displeasure of Almighty God : which 
evils, I fear me, are much used in these days, in the 
marriage of noblemen's children ; for joining lands to lands, 
possessions to possessions, neither the virtuous education nor 
living being regarded ; but in the infancy such marriages be 
made, to the displeasure of God, and breach of espousals. 

Let the king therefore choose unto him a godly wife, 
whereby he shall the better live chaste ; and in so living, all 
godliness shall increase, and righteousness be maintained. 
Notwithstanding, I know hereafter some will come and move 
your grace towards wantonness, and to the inclination of the 
flesh and vain affections. But I would your grace should 
bear in memory an history of a good king called Lewis, 
that travelled towards the Holy Land (which was a great 
matter in those days), and by the way sickened. And upon 



82 First Sermon preached before 

this matter the physicians did consult with the bishops, who 
did conclude that it would be lawful for the king to commit 
sin, if thereby his sickness could be removed. This good 
king hearing their conclusion would not assent thereunto, but 
said he had rather be sick even unto death than he would 
break his espousals. Wo worth such counsellors ! Bishops ! 
Nay, rather buzzards. 

Nevertheless, if the king should have consented to their 
conclusion, and accomplished the same, if he had not chanced 
well, they would have excused the matter : as I have heard 
of two that have consulted together, and according to the 
advice of his friend, the one of them wrought where the 
succession was not good ; the other imputed a piece of 
reproach to him for his such counsel given. He excused the 
matter, saying, that he gave him none other counsel, but if 
it had been his cause he would have done likewise. So I 
think the bishops would have excused the matter, if the king 
should have reproved them for their counsel. I do not read 
that the king did rebuke them for their counsel ; but if he 
had, I know what would have been their answer : they 
would have said. We give you no worse counsel than we 
would have followed ourselves, had we been in like case. 

Well, sir, this king did well, and had the fear of God 
before his eyes. He would not walk in by-walks, where are 
many balks. Amongst many balkings is much stumbling ; 
and by stumbling it chanceth many times to fall down to the 
ground. And therefore let us not take any by-walks, but 
let God's word direct us : let us not walk after, nor lean to 
our own judgments, and proceedings of our forefathers, nor 
seek not what they did, but what they should have done : of 
which thing the scripture admonisheth us, saying, Ne incline- 
miis prceceptis et iraditioiiibus patriini, neque faciamus quod 
videtur rectum in oculis nostris ; "Let us not incline our- 
selves unto the precepts and traditions of our fathers ; nor 
let us do that seemeth right in our eyes." But surely we 
will not exchange our fathers' doings and traditions with 
scripture ; but chiefiy lean unto them and to their prescrip- 
tion, and do that seemeth good in our own eyes. But surely 
that is going down the ladder : scala cceli, as it was made 
by the pope, came to be a mass ; but that is a false ladder to 
bring men to heaven. The true ladder to bring a man to 
heaven is the knowledge and following of the scripture. 

Let the king therefore choose a wife which feareth God ; 



King Edward the Sixth 83 

let him not seek a proud wanton, and one full of rich trea- 
sures and worldly pomp. 

" He shall not multiply unto himself too much gold and 
silver." Is there too much, think you, for a king ? God 
doth allow much unto a king, and it is expedient that he 
should have much ; for he hath great expenses, and many 
occasions to spend much for the defence and surety of his 
realm and subjects. And necessary it is that a king have 
a treasure always in a readiness for that, and such other 
affairs as be daily in his hands : the which treasure, if it 
be not sufficient, he may lawfully and with a safe conscience 
take taxes of his subjects. For it were not meet the treasure 
should be in the subjects' purses, when the money should be 
occupied, nor it were not best for themselves ; for the lack 
thereof might cause both it, and all the rest that they have, 
should not long be theirs. And so, for a necessary and 
expedient occasion, it is warranted by God's word to take 
of the subjects. But if there be sufficient treasures, and the 
burdening of subjects be for a vain thing, so that he will 
require thus much or so much of his subjects, (which per- 
chance are in great necessity and penury ;) then this covetous 
intent, and the request thereof, is " too much," which God for- 
biddeth the king here in this place of scripture to have. But 
who shall see this " too much," or tell the king of this " too 
much " ? Think you, any of the king's privy chamber ? No, 
for fear of loss of favour. Shall any of his sworn chaplains ? 
No : they be of the closet, and keep close such matters. But 
the king himself must see this " too much " ; and that shall he 
do by no means with the corporal eyes. Wherefore he must 
have a pair of spectacles, which shall have two clear sights 
in them : that is, that one is faith ; not a seasonable faith, 
which shall last but a while, but a faith which is continuing 
in God : the second clear sight is charity, which is fervent 
towards his christian brother. By them two must the king 
see ever when he hath too much. But few there be that 
use these spectacles : the more is their damnation. Not with- 
out cause Chrysostom with admiration saith, Miror si aliquis 
redorum potest salvari ; " I marvel if any ruler can be saved." 
Which words he speaketh not of an impossibility, but of a 
great difficulty ; for that their charge is marvellous great, 
and that none about them dare shew them the truth of the 
thing, how it goeth. 

Well, then, if God will not allow a king too much, 



84 First Sermon preached before 

whether will he allow a subject too much ? No, that he 
will not. Whether have any man here in England too 
much ? T doubt most rich men have too much ; for without 
too much we can get nothing. As for example, the phy- 
sician : if the poor man be diseased, he can have no help 
without too much. And of the lawyer, the poor man can 
get no counsel, expedition, nor help in his matter, except he 
give him too much. At merchants' hands no kind of ware 
can be had, except we give for it too much. You landlords, 
you rent-raisers, I may say you step-lords, you unnatural 
lords, you have for your possessions yearly too much. For 
that here before went for twenty or forty pound by year, 
(which is an honest portion to be had gratis in one lordship 
of another man's sweat and labour,) now is let for fifty or 
an hundred pound by year. Of this " too much "cometh this 
monstrous and portentous dearth made by man, notwith- 
standing God doth send us plentifully the fruits of the earth, 
mercifully, contrary unto our deserts : notwithstanding, too 
much, which these rich men have, causeth such dearth, that 
poor men, which live of their labour, cannot with the sweat 
of their face have a living, all kind of victuals is so dear ; 
pigs, geese, capons, chickens, eggs, &c. These things with 
other are so unreasonably enhanced ; and I think verily that 
if it thus continue, we shall at length be constrained to pay 
for a pig a pound. 

I will tell you, my lords and masters, this is not for the 
king's honour. Yet some will say, Knowest thou what 
belongeth unto the king's honour better than we? I answer, 
that the true honour of a king is most perfectly mentioned 
and painted forth in the scriptures, of which if ye be ignorant, 
for lack of time that ye cannot read it ; albeit that your 
counsel be never so politic, yet is it not for the king's honour. 
What his honour meaneth, ye cannot tell. It is the king's 
honour that his subjects be led in the true religion ; that 
all his prelates and clergy be set about their work in 
preaching and studying, and not to be interrupted from their 
charge. Also it is the king's honour that the commonwealth 
be advanced ; that the dearth of these foresaid things be 
provided for, and the commodities of this realm so employed, 
as it may be to the setting of his subjects on work, and 
keeping them from idleness. And herein resteth the king's 
honour and his office. So doing, his account before God 
shall be allowed and rewarded. Furthermore, if the king's 



King Edward the Sixth 85 

honour, as some men say, standeth in the great multitude 
of people ; then these graziers, inclosers, and rent-rearers, 
are hinderers of the king's honour. For where as have 
been a great many householders and inhabitants, there is 
now but a shepherd and his dog : so they hinder the king's 
honour most of all. My lords and masters, I say also, 
that all such proceedings which are against the king's 
honour, (as I have a part declared before, and as far as 
I can perceive,) do intend plainly to make the yeomanry 
slavery, and the clergy shavery. For such works are all 
singular, private wealth and commodity. We of the clergy 
had too much ; but that is taken away, and now we have too 
little. But for mine own part I have no cause to complain, 
for I thank God and the king, I have sufficient; and God 
is my judge, I came not to crave of any man any thing : 
but I know them that have too little. There lieth a great 
matter by these appropriations : great reformation is to be 
had in them. I know where is a great market-town, with 
divers hamlets and inhabitants, where do rise yearly of their 
labours to the value of fifty pound, and the vicar that serveth, 
being so great a cure, hath but twelve or fourteen marks 
by year ; so that of this pension he is not able to buy him 
books, nor give his neighbour drink ; all the great gain goeth 
another way. 

My father was a yeoman, and had no lands of his own, 
only he had a farm of three or four pound by year at the 
uttermost, and hereupon he tilled so much as kept half a 
dozen men. He had walk for a hundred sheep; and my 
mother milked thirty kine. He was able, and did find the 
king a harness, with himself and his horse, while he came to 
the place that he should receive the king's wages. I can 
remember that I buckled his harness when he went unto 
Blackheath field.^ He kept me to school, or else I had not 
been able to have preached before the king's majesty now. 
He married my sisters with five pound, or twenty nobles 
apiece ; so that he brought them up in godliness and fear of 
God. He kept hospitality for his poor neighbours, and some 
alms he gave to the poor. And all this he did of the said 
farm, where he that now hath it payeth sixteen pound by 
year, or more, and is not able to do any thing for his prince, 
for himself, nor for his children, or give a cup of drink to 
the poor. 

' Where the Cornish rebels were defeated in 1497. 



86 First Sermon preached before 

Thus all the enhancing and rearing goeth to your private 
commodity and wealth. So that where ye had a single too 
much, you have that ; and since the same, ye have enhanced 
the rent, and so have increased another too much : so now 
ye have double too much, which is too too much. But let 
the preacher preach till his tongue be worn to the stumps, 
nothing is amended. We have good statutes made for the 
commonwealth, as touching commoners and inclosers ; many 
meetings and sessions ; but in the end of the matter there 
Cometh nothing forth. Well, well, this is one thing I will 
say unto you : from whence it cometh I know, even from the 
devil. I know his intent in it. For if ye bring it to pass 
that the yeomanry be not able to put their sons to school, 
(as indeed universities do wonderously decay already,) and 
that they be not able to marry their daughters to the avoiding 
of whoredom ; I say, ye pluck salvation from the people, and 
utterly destroy the realm. For by yeoman's sons the faith 
of Christ is and hath been maintained chiefly. Is this realm 
taught by rich men's sons ? No, no ; read the chronicles : ye 
shall find sometime noblemen's sons which have been un- 
preaching bishops and prelates, but ye shall find none of 
them learned men. But verily they that should look to the 
redress of these things be the greatest against them. In this 
realm are a great many folks, and amongst many I know but 
one of tender zeal, who at the motion of his poor tenants 
hath let down his lands to the old rents for their relief. For 
God's love let not him be a phenix, let him not be alone, let 
him not be an hermit closed in a wall ; some good man follow 
him, and do as he giveth example. 

Surveyors there be, that greedily gorge up their covetous 
goods ; hand-makers, I mean : honest men I touch not ; but 
all such as survey, they make up their mouths, but the com- 
mons be utterly undone by them ; whose bitter cry ascending 
up to the ears of the God of Sabaoth, the greedy pit of hell- 
burning fire, without great repentance, doth tarry and look 
for them. A redress God grant! For surely, surely, but 
that two things do comfort me, I would despair of redress in 
these matters. One is, that the king's majesty, when he 
Cometh to age, will see a redress of these things so out of 
frame ; giving example by letting down his own lands first, 
and then enjoin his subjects to follow him. The second 
hope I have, is, I believe that the general accounting day is 
at hand, the dreadful day of judgment, I mean, which shall 



King Edward the Sixth 87 

make an end of all these calamities and miseries. For, as 
the scriptures be, Cum dixerint, Pax, pax, " When they 
shall say, Peace, peace," Omnia tuta, " All things are sure ; " 
then is the day at hand : a merry day, I say, for all such as 
do in this world study to serve and please God, and continue 
in his faith, fear, and love ; and a dreadful horrible day for 
those that decline from God, walking in their own ways ; to 
whom, as it is written in the twenty-fifth of Matthew, it is 
said, Ite, maledicti, in ignem ceiernum, " Go, ye cursed, into 
everlasting punishment, where shall be wailing and gnashing 
of teeth." But unto the other he shall say, Venite, benedidi, 
" Come, ye blessed children of my Father, possess the 
kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world : " 
of the which God make us all partakers ! Amen. 



SERMONS PREACHED BEFORE KING 
EDWARD THE SIXTH 

The Second Sermon of Master Hugh Latimer^ which he preached 
before the King's Majesty, withiti his Grace's Palace at 
Westminster, the fifteenth day of March, 1549. 

TO THE READER 

Even as in times past all men which were honestly 
bent to the promoting of virtue and learning, found means 
that the works of worthy orators, of famous and renowned 
philosophers, should be, by the benefit of publishing, re- 
deemed from the tyranny of oblivion to the great and high 
profit of countries, of commonwealths, of empires, and of 
assemblies of men : likewise ought we to fetch our precedent 
from those men, and suffer no worthy monument to perish 
whereby any good may grow, either to the more godly ad- 
ministration of political and civil affairs, or else to the better 
establishment of christian judgment. Numa Pompihus (who 
was inaugured and created king of the Romans next after 
Romulus) was far more careful and busier in grounding of 
idolatrous religion (as upon rites, ceremonies, sacrifices and 
superstitions) than we are in the promoting of christian re- 
ligion, to the advancement of the glory due to the omnipotent 
Majesty of God himself, who hath revealed and uttered his 
word unto us by his prophets, and last of all by his only- 
begotten Son Jesus Christ ; whereby he hath confirmed our 
consciences in a more perfect certainty of the truth than ever 
they were before. This Numa instituted an archbishop for 
the preserving of the Commentaries containing the solemni- 
ties of their religion, with many other appendices united to 
the office of the high bishop. What do we ? We have 
suppressed. We have wrestled with fire and sword, not only 
to deface the writings of such learned men as have painfully 
travailed to publish God's word, but also we have stirred 
every stone, and sought all devilish devices to detain the 
same word of God itself from his people. May not we, and 
not unworthily, be accounted far under the ethnicks, who 
wrought only by natural motion and anticipations, without 
breathing and inspiring of the Holy Ghost, if we would not, 

88 



Second Sermon 89 

I mean, not be equal to them, but be far more zealous in 
promoting good learning and religion than ever they were ? 
They, when they had such noble and worthy clerks as 
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, in all diligence caused the 
fruits of these most rare and profound wits to be preserved 
for their posterity, that the eyes of all generations might 
enjoy the fruition and use of them ; thinking that such 
Wonderful virtues should not be buried in the same grave that 
their bodies were. After so manifold and dangerous ship- 
wrecks of religion, as in our times we may well remember, 
whereas the ambitious and blind prelates (some of wily wilful- 
ness, some of gross ignorance) ruleth the stern, and have 
evermore blemished the true knowledge of God's word, and 
did their endeavour to obscure the same with their politic and 
decent ceremonies, and trumpery of superstitions ; how oft 
hath religion been tossed on the stormy surges and dangerous 
rocks of the Romish seas ! How oft hath it been in such a 
desperate state, that the true ministers have been enforced, 
as you would say, to weigh anchor, the tackling of the ship 
being broken, and, destitute of all other help and succours, to 
give over the ruling of the ship to God himself; who is only 
able to save, when all the world by man's reason judgeth it 
past cure ! Such, O Lord, is thy mercy and ineffable power ! 
What christian heart, that favoureth the glory of God, did 
not even lament and bewail the state of religion, and thought 
verily the utter ruin of Christ's church to be at hand, seeing 
the late martyrdom of those that suffered ? Yet didst thou. 
Lord, stir lip thousands out of their ashes ; and what was 
done of a popish policy to suppress and keep under the truth, 
that, of all other, did most set forth the same. Thou hast 
delivered Daniel out of the den of lions, and he hath set forth 
thy word abroad. But now, countrymen, whom God hath 
blessed by delivering you from the tyranny of the lions and 
her whelps, which went through the whole realm sucking the 
innocent blood, how unthankful are you to God, so greatly 
neglecting so special a benefit; falling into such a looseness of 
lascivious living, as the like hath never been heard of hereto- 
fore ! Even as ye are grown to a perfection in knowledge, so 
are ye come to a perfection in all mischief. The heathen, 
which had no other guide but the law of nature graven in 
the tables of their heart, were never so poisoned with the 
contagion of most horrible heresies, as some of us Christians 
which are not ashamed to brag and boast of the Spirit. But 



90 Second Sermon preached before 

it is a fanatic spirit, ^ brain-sick spirit, a seditious and a 
malignant spirit. Christ breathe his Spirit upon you, that 
ye may read the scripture with all humbleness and reverence,, 
to fetch from thence comfort for your wounded consciences, 
not to make that lively fountain of life to serve for the 
feeding of your idle brains, to dispute more subtilly thereby ; 
or else, by misunderstanding of the same, to conceive per- 
nicious anabaptistical opinions ! Remember that the servant 
which knoweth his master's will, and doeth it not, shall be 
beaten with many stripes. God is a good God, a merciful 
God, a father, which beareth much with our crooked nature 
and unchristian behaviour, and very slow to revenge this blas- 
phemy, this maintenance of so many unscriptural opinions, 
these babblings and schismatic contentions, wherein a great 
pack of us delight, and repose our glory ; although, as fondly 
as erroneously, to the great slander of the godly-learned, and 
also to the hinderance of the good success and free passage 
of the word of God. But as truly as God is God, if we 
repent not shortly, his plagues and vengeance are not far off; 
his indignation and wrath shall be poured from heaven upon 
our ungodliness. He is long coming, but when he comes he 
will pay home ; and, as Lactantius saith, recompense his long- 
sufferance with more grievous punishments. The world and 
the devil hath so bewitched us, that we in our deeds, I fear 
me, too many of us, deny God to be God, whatsoever we 
pittle-pattle with our tongues. God's word must not be talked 
of only, for that is not enough, it must be expressed. Then 
must we as well live the word as talk the word ; or else, if 
good life do not ensue and follow upon our reasoning, to the 
example of others, we might as well spend that time in read- 
ing of profane histories, of Cantorburye tales, or a fit of Robyn 
Hode. Let us join good life with our reading, and yet all 
will be too little. Remember that the world and all that is 
in it is mere vanity, and shall have an end. Thou, I say, 
that thus abuseth the gift of God's holy word, and the 
graciousness of the king's majesty, which hath licensed thee 
to read the same for the comfort of thine own soul, for the 
instruction of thy family, the education of thy children, and 
edifying of thy neighbour ; thou that art so gorgeously ap- 
parelled, and feedeth thy corruptible carcase so daintily ; thou 
that purchases! so fast, to the utter undoing of the poor, con- 
sider whereof thou earnest, and whereunto thou shalt return. 
Where is then all thy pomp ? Where is all thy ruff of thy 



King Edward the Sixth 91 

gloriousness become ? What will thou say for thyself in that 
horrible day of judgment, where thou shalt stand naked be- 
fore God, where the tables of thine own conscience shall be 
opened, and laid before thine eyes to accuse thee ? Thou 
which raisest the rents so greedily, as though thou shouldst 
never have enough. Thy judgment is, through miserable 
mammon, so captivate and blind, that thou canst not tell 
when thou hast enough, or what is enough. Truly a little 
is too much for him that knoweth not how to use much well. 
Therefore learn first the use of money and riches, and some 
other honester means to attain them, that this thine insatiable 
covetousness and unlawful desiring of other men's goods may 
be reduced to some reasonable measure, and that it do not 
exceed the limits or compass of honesty, and the bonds of 
brotherly love ; lest God, before whom thou shalt appear one 
day to render a strait account for the deeds done in the 
flesh, burden and charge thee with the unmerciful handling 
of thy tenant, but 'yet notwithstanding thy brother, whom 
with new incomes, fines, enhancing of rents, and such like 
unreasonable exactions, thou pillest, poUest, and miserably 
oppressest. When that terrible day shall once come, a little 
of God's mercy will be worth a mass or a whole heap of thy 
money. There thy wicked mammon, whom thou servest like 
a slave, can purchase thee no mercy. There thy money, so 
gleaned and gathered of thee and thine, to the impoverishment 
of many to make thee only rich, cannot prevail thee, nor yet 
redeem thy cause before that just and severe judge, which 
then and there will render to thee the selfsame measure 
which thou measurest to other men. What did we speak of 
prevailing, or redeeming of thy cause with money ? Nay, 
then thy money and the rest of thy gold shall be a witness 
against thee, and shall eat thy flesh as the fire. How frantic 
and foolish might all wise men well judge and deem him to 
be, which against the day of his arraignment, when he should 
stand upon the trial of death and life, would busy himself^ 
his folks, and his friends, to prepare and get many witnesses 
against him, to cast him away by their evidence and witness^ 
and to provide such men as should be the only cause of his 
death ! Even so frantic, so foolish art thou, which both toil, 
travail, and turmoil so earnestly and busily about the getting 
of goods and riches, before thou hast well learned and taken 
forth of the lesson of well using the same. Howbeit, truly 
I doubt much of the well using of that which was never well 



92 Second Sermon preached before 

nor truly gotten. Learn, therefore, first to know what is 
enough ; for the wise man saith, " It is better to have a httle 
with the fear of the Lord, than great and unsatiable riches." 
Sophony saith, " Their gold shall not be able to deliver them 
in the day of the Lord's wrath." " Let your conversation 
be without covetousness, and be content with what ye have 
already." " Godliness is great riches, if a man be content 
with such as God sends. For we brought nothing into this 
world, neither shall we carry anything out. When we have 
food and raiment, let us therewith be content." Behold, the 
schoolmaster Paul teaches thee here a good lesson. Here 
thou mayest learn well enough to know what is enough. But 
lest thou shouldest fear at any time the want or lack of this 
enough, hear farther the rest of the lesson ; for God verily 
saith, " The Lord is mine helper, I will not fear what man 
doeth to me." If the revenues and yearly rents of thy 
patrimony and lands be not enough nor sufficient for thy 
finding, and will not suffice thy charges, then moderate thy 
expenses ; borrow of thy two next neighbours, that is to say, 
of thy back and thy belly. Learn to eat within the tether. 
Pull down thy sail : say, " Down, proud heart." Maintain 
no greater port than thou art able to bear out and support 
of thine own provision. Put thy hand no farther than thy 
sleeve will reach. Cut thy cloth after thy measure. Keep 
thy house after thy spending. Thou must not pill and poll 
thy tenant, that thou mayest have, as they say, Unde, and 
that thy never enough, to ruffle it out in a riotous ruff, and 
a prodigal, dissolute, and licentious living. We read in the 
scriptures, "Give to every man his duty; tribute to whom 
tribute is due ; custom to whom custom is due ; fear to whom 
fear belongeth ; honour to whom honour pertaineth." But 
we find not there, nor elsewhere, " fines to whom fines, in- 
comes to whom incomes." Paul was not acquainted with 
none of these terms. Belike they were not used and come 
up in his time, or else he would have made mention of them. 
Yet, notwithstanding, we deny not but these reasonably re- 
quired, and upon honest covenants and contracts, are the 
more tolerable \ and so used, so may be permitted. But the 
covenants and contracts we remit to the godly wisdom of the 
high magistrates, who we pray God may take such order and 
direction in this, and all other, that the common people may 
be relieved and eased of many importable charges and in- 
juries, which many of them, contrary to all equity and right, 
sustain. But wo worth this covetousness, not without skill 



King Edward the Sixth 93 

called the root of all evil ! If covetousness were not, we 
think many things amiss would shortly be redressed. She is 
a mighty matron, a lady of great power. She hath retained 
more servants than any lady hath in England. But mark 
how well, in fine, she hath rewarded her servants, and learn 
to be wise by another man's harm. Achan, by the command- 
ment of God, was stoned to death, because he took of the 
excommunicate goods. Saul, moved by covetousness, dis- 
obeyed God's word, preserving the king Agag, and a parcel 
of the fattest of the cattle, and lost his kingdom thereby. 
Gehize was stricken with leprosy, and all his posterity, be- 
cause he took money and raiment of Naaman. The rich and 
unmerciful glutton, who fared well and daintily every day, 
was buried in hell ; and there he taketh now such fare as the 
devil himself doth. Woe be to you that join house to house, 
and field to field ! Shall ye alone inhabit the earth ? Let 
these terrible examples suffice at this present to teach and 
admonish the enhancer of rents ; the unreasonable exactor, 
and greedy requirer of fines and incomes ; the covetous 
leasemonger ; the devourer of towns and countries, as M. 
Latimer termeth them rightly. If these scriptures, which 
they may read in these godly sermons, do not pierce their 
stony hearts, we fear more will not serve. The Lord be 
merciful to them ! But now the wicked judge, which cor- 
rupteth justice for bribes, here he may learn also the lesson 
that Moses taught long before this time, " Ye magistrates and 
judges in the commonwealth of Israel, be no acceptors of 
persons, neither be desirous of gifts ; for they make wise men 
blind, and change the mind of the righteous." " In judgment 
be merciful to the fatherless, as a father, and be instead of 
an husband unto their mother." " The ungodly taketh gifts 
out of the bosom to wrest the ways of judgment." " Let 
him that rules be diligent," saith Paul. What meaneth he 
by this term ' diligent ' ? He requires no such diligence as 
the most part of our lucrative lawyers do use, in deferring 
and prolonging of matters and actions from term to term, 
and in the tracting of time in the same ; where, perchance, 
the title or right of the matter might have come to light, and 
been tried long before, if the lawyers and judges would have 
used such diligence as Paul would have them to do. But 
what care the lawyers for Paul ? Paul was but a madman of 
law to controul them for their diligence. Paul, yea, and 
Peter too, had more skill in mending an old net, and in 
clouting an old tent, than to teach lawyers what diligence 



94 Second Sermon preached before 

they should use in the expedition of matters. Why, but 
be not lawyers diligent ? say ye. Yea, truly are they ; about 
their own profit there are no more diligent men, nor busier 
persons in all England. They trudge, in the term time, to 
and fro. They apply the v/orld hard. They foreslow ^ 
no time. They follow assizes and sessions, leets, law-days, 
and hundreds. They should serve the king, but they serve 
themselves. And how they use, nay rather abuse their office 
in the same, some good man will tell them thereof. We lack 
a few more Latimers ; a few more such preachers. Such plain 
Pasquyls we pray God provide for us, as will keep nothing 
back. Of the which sort and number we may most worthily 
reckon this faithful minister of God, and constant preacher of 
his word. Master Hugh Latimer ; which, by his perseverance 
and stedfastness in the truth, hath stablished this wavering 
world. He hath been tost for the truth's sake, and tried in 
the storm of persecution, as gold in the furnace. He is one 
whom, as well for his learned, sound, and catholic judgment 
in the knowledge of God's word, as for his integrity and 
example of Christian conversation, all we, and especially 
ministers and prelates, ought to set before our eyes, as a 
principal patron to imitate and follow ; desiring God, who 
hath stirred up in him the bold spirit of Helias, may daily 
more and more augment the same in him, and may also pro- 
vide many such preaching prelates ; which both so well could, 
and so willingly would, frankly utter the truth, to the extol- 
ling of virtue, to the reward of well-doers, the suppressing of 
vice, the abolishment of all papistry. It is our part, there- 
fore, to pray diligently for his continual health, and that he 
may live long among us in a flourishing old age ; and not, 
as some ingrate and inhuman persons, to malign and deprave 
him, for that he so frankly and liberally taxed, perstringed, and 
openly rebuked before the king's majesty the peculiar faults 
of certain of his auditors : but it is our part rather thankfully 
to accept in good part, take his godly advertisement ; unless 
we be minded to prefer our mucky money, and false felicity, 
before the joys of heaven ; or else believe, as the Epicures 
do, that after this life there is neither hell nor heaven. Re- 
ceive thankfully, gentle reader, these sermons, faithfully 
collected without any sinister suspicion of any thing in the 
same being added or adempt. 

The XXI day of June. 

' loiter. 



King Edward the Sixth 95 

THE SERMON 

QucEciinque scripta sunt, ad nostram doctrinam, &'c. — Romans xv. 4. 

All things that are written in God's book, in the holy bible, they were 
written before our time, but yet to continue from age to age, as long 
as the world doth stand. 

In this book is contained doctrine for all estates, even for 
kings. A king herein may learn how to guide himself. 
I told you in my last sermon much of the duty of a king, 
and there is one place behind yet, and it followeth in the 
text : Postquam autem sedertt in solio regni sut, &c. ; 
" And when the king is set in the seat of his kingdom, he 
shall write him out a book, and take a copy of the priests 
or Levites." He shall have a book with him, and why ? 
" To read in it all the days of his life, to learn to fear God, 
and learn his laws," and other things, as it followeth in the 
text with the appurtenances, and hangings on, "that he turn 
not from God, neither to the right hand, nor to the left." 
And wherefore shall he do this ? " That he may live long, 
he and his children." 

Hitherto goeth the text. That I may declare this the 
better, to the edifying of your souls and the glory of God, 
I shall desire you to pray, &c. 

Et postquam, &c., "And when the king is set in the 
seat of his kingdom, &c." 

Before I enter into this place, right honourable audience, 
to furnish it accordingly, which by the grace of God I shall 
do at leisure, I would repeat the place I was in last, and 
furnish it with an history or two, which I left out in my 
last sermon. I was in a matter concerning the sturdiness of 
the Jews, a froward and stiff-necked kind of people, much 
like our Englishmen now-a-days, that in the minority of a 
king take upon them to break laws, and to go by-ways. 
For when God had promised them a king, when it came to 
the point they refused him. These men walked by-walks ; 
and the saying is, " Many by-walkers, many balks : " many 
balks, much stumbling ; and where much stumbling is, there 
is sometimes a fall : howbeit there were some good walkers 
among them, that walked in the king's highway ordinarily, 
uprightly, plain Dunstable way ^ ; and for this purpose I 

' "As plain as Dunstable way" is given by Fuller among the 
proverbs of Bedfordshire, as descriptive of anything " plain and simple, 
without either welt or guard to adorn them." 



96 Second Sermon preached before 

would shew you an history which is written in the third of 
the Kings. 

King David being in his childhood, an old man in his 
second childhood, (for all old men are twice children, as the 
proverb is, Senex bis puer, " an old man twice a child,) " it 
happened with him, as it doth oftentimes, when wicked .men 
of a king's childhood take occasion of evil. 

This king David being weak of -nature, and impotent, 
insomuch that when he was covered with clothes, he could 
take no heat, was counselled of his servants to take a fair 
young maid to nourish him, and to keep him warm in his 
body : I suppose she was his wife. Howbeit he had no 
bodily company with her, and well she might be his wife. 
For though the scripture doth say, IVon cognovit earn, " He 
knew her not," he had no carnal copulation with her, yet it 
saith not, JVon duxit earn uxorem, " He married her not." 
And I cannot think that king David would have her to 
warm his bosom in bed, except she had been his wife ; having 
a dispensation of God to have as many wives as he would : 
for God had dispensed with them to have many wives. 
Well, what happened to king David in his childhood by 
the child of the devil ? Ye shall hear : king David had a 
proud son, whose name was Adonias, a man full of ambition, 
desirous of honour, always climbing, climbing. Now whilst 
the time was of his father's childhood, he would depose his 
father, not knowing of his father's mind, saying, Ego 
regnabo, " I will reign, I will be king." He was a stout- 
stomached child, a by-walker, of an ambitious mind : he 
would not consent to his father's friends, but got him a 
chariot, and men to run before it, and divers other adherents 
to help him forward ; worldly-wise men, such as had been 
before of his father's counsel ; great men in the world, and 
some, no doubt of it, came of good-will, thinking no harm ; 
for they would not think that he did it without his father's 
will, having such great men to set him forth ; for every man 
cannot have access at all times to the king, to know his 
pleasure. Well, algates ^ he would be king. He makes a 
great feast, and thereto he called Joab, the ring-leader of 
his father's army ; a worldly-wise man ; a by-walker, that 
would not walk the king's high-way ; and one Abiathar, the 
high priest ; for it is marvel if any mischief be in hand, if 
a priest be not at some ^end of it. They took him as king, 
by all means. 



King Edward the Sixth 97 

and cried, Vivat rex Adonias ; "God save king Adonias." 
David suffered all this, and let him alone ; for he was in his 
childhood, a bedrid man. 

But see how God ordered the matter. Nathan the prophet, 
and Sadoc a priest, and Banaiah, and the Chrethites and 
Phelethites, the king's guard, they were not called to the 
feast. These were good men, and would not walk by-ways : 
therefore it was folly to break the matter to them ; they 
were not called to counsel. Therefore Nathan, when he 
heard of this, he cometh to Bethsabe, Salomon's mother, 
and saith, " Hear ye not how Adonias the son of Ageth 
reigneth king, David not knowing ? " And he bade her put 
the king in mind of his oath that he sware, that her son 
Salomon should be king after him. This was wise counsel, 
according to the proverb. Qui vadit plane, vadit sane : " He 
that walketh in the high plain way, walketh safely." 

Upon this she went and brake the matter to David, and 
desired him to shew who should reign after him in Hieru- 
salem ; adding that if Adonias were king, she and her son, 
after his death, should be destroyed ; saying, Nos erimus 
peccatores, " We shall be sinners, we shall be taken for 
traitors : for though we meant no harm, but walked uprightly, 
yet because we went not the by-way with him, he being 
in authority will destroy us." And by and by cometh in 
Nathan, and taketh her tale by the end, and sheweth him 
how Adonias was saluted king ; and that he had bid to 
dinner the king's servants, all saving him, and Sadoc, and 
Benaiah, and all his brethren the king's sons, save Salomon. 

King David remembering himself, swore, " As sure as God 
liveth, Salomon my son shall reign after me ; " and by and 
by commanded Nathan and Sadoc, and his guard, the 
Cherites and Phelethites, to take Salomon his son, and set him 
upon his mule, and anoint him king. And so they did, 
crying, Vivat Salomon Rex. Thus was Salomon throned, by 
the advice and will of his father : and though he were a 
child, yet was his will to be obeyed and fulfilled, and they 
ought to have known his pleasure. 

Whilst this was a doing, there was such a joy and out- 
cry of the people for their new king, and blowing of trumpets, 
that Joab and the other company being in their jollity, and 
keeping good cheer, heard it, and suddenly asked, " What 
is this ado ? " And when they perceived, that Salomon, by 
the advice of his father, was anointed king, by and by there 



98 Second Sermon preached before 

was all whisht : all their good cheer was done ; and all that 
were with Adonias went away, and let him reign alone, if he 
would. And why ? He walked a by-way, and God would 
not prosper it. 

God will not work with private authority, nor with any 
thing done inordinately. When Adonias saw this, that he 
was left alone, he took sanctuary, and held by the horns of 
the altar ; and sware that he would not depart thence till 
Salomon would swear that he should not lose his life. 

Here is to be noted the notable sentence and great 
mercy of king Salomon. " Let him," saith he, " order him- 
self like a quiet man, and there shall not one hair fall from 
his head : Sed si inventum fuerit malum in eo, But if there 
shall be any evil found in him, if he hath gone about any 
mischief, he shall die for it." Upon this he was brought 
unto Salomon ; and as the book saith, he did homage unto 
him. And Salomon said unto him : Vade in domum tuam, 
"Get thee into thy house:" belike he meant to ward, and 
there to see his wearing : as if he should say, "Shew thyself 
without gall of ambition, to be a quiet subject, and I 
will pardon thee for this time : but I will see the wearing 
of thee." Here we may see the wonderful great mercy of 
Salomon : for this notorious treason that Adonias had 
committed, it was a plain matter, for he suffered himself 
to be called king ; it hung not of vehement suspicion or 
conjecture, nor sequel, or consequent ; yet notwithstanding 
Salomon for that present forgave him, saying, " I will not 
forget it utterly, but I will keep it in suspense, I will take 
no advantage of thee at this time." This Adonias and 
Absolon were brethren, and came both of a strange mother ; 
and Absolon likewise was a traitor, and made an insurrection 
.against his father. Beware therefore these mothers ; and 
let kings take heed how they marry, in what houses, 
in what faith. For strange bringing up bringeth strange 
manners. 

Now giveth David an exhortation to Salomon, and teacheth 
him the duty of a king ; and giveth him a lesson, as it 
followeth at large in the book, and he that list to read it, 
may see it there at full. But what doth Adonias all this 
while ? He must yet climb again : the gall of ambition was 
not out of his heart : he will now marry Abisaac, the young 
■queen that warmed king David's bosom, as I told you ; and 
•Cometh me to Bethsabe, desiring her to be a mean to Salomon 



King Edward the Sixth 99 

her son that he might obtain his purpose ; and bringeth 
me out a couple of lies at a clap ; and committeth me two 
unlawful acts. For first he would have been king without 
his father's consent, and now he will marry his father's wife. 
And the two lies are these : first, said he to Bethsabe, 
*' Thou knowest that the kingdom belongeth unto me, for 
I am the elder ; the kingdom was mine." He lied falsely ; 
it was none of his. Then said he, " All the eyes of Israel 
were cast upon me : " that is to say, all Israel consented to 
it. And there he lied falsely ; for Nathan, Sadoc and other 
wise men, never agreed to it. Here was a great enterprise 
of Adonias ; he will be climbing still. Well ; Bethsabe 
went at his request to her son Salomon, and asked a boon, 
and he granted her whatsoever she did ask. Notwith- 
standing he brake his promise afterward, and that right 
well ; for all promises are not to be kept, specially if they 
be against the word of God, or not standing with a common 
profit. And therefore as soon as Salomon heard that Adonias 
would have married the young queen Abishaac : " Nay, 
then let him be king too," said he : "I perceive now that 
he is a naughty man, a proud-hearted fellow ; the gall of 
ambition is not yet out of his heart : " and so commanded 
him to be put to death Thus was Adonias put to execution, 
whereas if he had kept his house, and not broken his injunc- 
tion, he might have lived still. Abiathar, what became of 
him ? The king, because he had served his father before 
him, would not put him to death, but made him as it were 
a quondam. " Because thou hast been with my father," said 
he, "and didst carry the ark before him, I will not kill thee. 
But I will promise thee, thou shalt never minister any more ; 
vade in agrum tuutn, get thee to thy land, and live there." 
A great matter of pity and compassion ! So God grant us 
all such mercy ! 

And here was the- end of Elie's stock, according to the 
promise and threatening of God. As for the Phelethites, 
we do not read that they were punished. Marry, Shimei 
transgressed his injunction ; for he kept not his house, but 
went out of Jerusalem to seek two servants of his, that had 
run from him ; and when it came to Salomon's ear, it cost 
him his life. 

I have ript the matter now to the pill, and have told 
you of plain-walkers, and of by-walkers ; and how a king 
in his childhood is a king, as well as in any other age. 



loo Second Sermon preached before 

We read in scripture of such as were but twelve or eight 
years old, and yet the word of the Holy Ghost called them 
kings, saying : Coepit regnare, " He began to reign " or he 
began to be king. Here is of by-walkers. This history 
would be remembered : the proverb is, Felix quern faciunt 
aliena pericula cautum ; "Happy is he that can beware 
by another man's jeopardy." For if we offend not as other 
do, it is not our own deserts. If we fall not, it is God's 
preservation. We are all offenders : for either we may do, 
or have done, or shall do, (except God preserve us,) as evil 
as the worst of them. I pray God we may all amend and 
repent ! But we will all amend now, I trust. We must needs 
amend our lives every man. The holy communion is at hand, 
and we may not receive it unworthily. 

Well, to return to my history. King David, I say, was 
a king in his second childhood. And so young kings, though 
they be children, yet are they kings notwithstanding. And 
though it be written in scripture, Vcb tihi, O terra, ubi puer 
est rex, " Wo to thee, O land, where the king is a child ; " 
it foUoweth in another place, Beata terra ubi rex nobilis, 
" Blessed is the land where there is a noble king ; " where 
kings be no banqueters, no players ; and where they spend 
not their time in hawking and hunting. And when had the 
king's majesty a council, that took more pain both night and 
day for the setting forth of God's word, and profit of the 
commonwealth ? And yet there be some wicked people that 
will say, "Tush, this gear will not tarry: it is but my lord 
Protector's and my lord of Canterbury's doing : the king is 
a child, and he knoweth not of it." Jesu mercy ! How 
like are we Englishmen to the Jews, ever stubborn, stiff- 
necked, and walking in by-ways ! Yea, I think no Jew 
would at any time say, " This gear will not tarry." I never 
heard nor read at any time that they said, " These laws were 
made in such a king's days, when he was but a child ; let 
us alter them." O Lord, what pity is this, that we should be 
worse than the Jews ! 

" Blessed be the land," saith the word of God, " where 
the king is noble." What people are they that say, " The 
king is but a child ? " Have we not a noble king ? Was 
there ever king so noble ; so godly ; brought up with so noble 
counsellors ; so excellent and well learned schoolmasters ? I 
will tell you this, and I speak it even as I think : his 
Majesty hath more godly wit and understanding, more learn- 



King Edward the Sixth loi 

ing and knowledge at this age, than twenty of his progenitors, 
that I could name, had at any time of their life. 

I told you in my last sermon of ministers, of the king's 
people ; and had occasion to shew you how few noblemen 
were good preachers ; and I left out an history then, which 
I will now tell you. 

There was a bishop of Winchester in king Henry the 
Sixth's days, which king was but a child; and yet there 
were many good acts made in his childhood, and I do not 
read that they were broken. This bishop was a great man 
born, and did bear such a stroke, that he was able to 
shoulder the lord Protector. Well, it chanced that the lord 
Protector and he fell out ; and the bishop would bear nothing 
at all with him, but played me the satrapa, so that the 
regent of France was fain to be sent for from beyond the 
seas, to set them at one, and go between them : for the 
bishop was as able and ready to buckle with the lord Pro- 
tector, as he was with him. 

Was not this a good prelate ? He should have been 
at home preaching in his diocese with a wanniaunt.-^ 

This Protector was so noble and godly a man, that he 
was called of every man the good duke Humphrey. He 
kept such a house as never was kept since in England ; 
without any enhancing of rents, I warrant you, or any such 
matter. And the bishop for standing so stiffly by the matter, 
and bearing up the order of our mother the holy church, 
was made a cardinal at Calais ; and thither the bishop of 
Rome sent him a cardinal's hat. He should have had a 
Tyburn tippet, a half-penny halter, and all such proud prelates. 
These Romish hats never brought good into England. 

Upon this the bishop goeth me to the queen Margaret, 
the king's wife, a proud woman, and a stout ; and persuaded 
her, that if the duke were in such authority still, and 
lived, the people would honour him more than they did 
the king ; and the king should not be set by : and so be- 
tween them, I cannot tell how it came to pass, but at St 
Edmunds-bury, in a parliament, the good duke Humphrey 
was smothered. 

But now to return to my text, and to make further 

rehearsal of the same, the matter beginneth thus : Et post- 

quam sederit rex, " And when the king is set in the 

seat of his kingdom — " What shall he do ? Shall he 

• May be equivalent to, " with a vengeance." 



I02 Second Sermon preached before 

dance and dally ; banquet, hawk, and hunt ? No, forsooth, 
sir. For as God set an order in the king's stable, as I 
told you in my last sermon, so will he appoint what pastime 
a king shall have. What must he do then ? He must be 
a student, he must write God's book himself; not thinking, 
because he is a king, he hath licence to do what he will, as 
these worldly flatterers are wont to say : " Yea, trouble not 
yourself, sir, ye may hawk and hunt, and take your pleasure. 
As for the guiding of your kingdom and people, let us 
alone with it." 

These flattering claw-backs are original roots of all mis- 
chief; and yet a king may take his pastime in hawking 
or hunting, or such like pleasures. But he must use them 
for recreation, when he is weary of weighty affairs, that 
he may return to them the more lusty : and this is called 
pastime with good company. " He must write out a book 
himself." He speaketh of writing, because printing was 
not used at that time. And shall the king write it out 
himself? He meaneth, he shall see it written, and rather 
than he should be without it, write it himself. Jesus 
mercy ! is God so chary with a king, to have him well 
brought up and instructed ? Yea, forsooth : for if the 
king be well ordered, the realm is well ordered. 

Where shall he have a copy of this book ? Of the 
Levites. And why ? Because it shall be a true copy, not 
falsified. Moses left the book in an old chest, and the 
Levites had it in keeping. And because there should be 
no error, no addition, nor taking away from it, he biddeth 
him fetch the copy of the Levites. 

And was not here a great miracle of God, how this book 
was preserved ? It had lain hid many years, and the Jews 
knew not of it. Therefore at length, when they had found 
it, and knew it, they lamented for their ignorance that 
had so long been without it, and rent their clothes, re- 
penting their unfaithfulness. And the holy bible, God's 
book, that we have among us, it hath been preserved 
hitherto by wonderful miracle of God, though the keepers 
of it were never so malicious. First, ever since the bishop 
of Rome was first in authority, they have gone about to 
destroy it ; but God worketh wonderfully ; he hath pre- 
served it, maugre their beards ; and yet are we unthankful 
that we cannot consider it. I will tell you what a bishop 
of this realm said once tome,: he sent for me, and marvelled 



King Edward the Sixth 103 

that I would not consent to such traditions as were then 
set out. And I answered him, that I would be ruled by 
God's book, and rather than I would dissent one jot from 
it, I would be torn with wild horses. And I chanced in 
our communication to name the Lord's Supper. " Tush," 
saith the bishop, " what do ye call the Lord's Supper ? 
What new term is that ? " There stood by him a dubber, 
one Doctor Dubber : he dubbed him by and by, and said 
that this term was seldom read in the doctors. And I 
made answer, that I would rather follow Paul in using 
his terms, than them, though they had all the doctors on 
their side. "Why," said the bishop, "cannot we, without 
scriptures, order the people ? How did they before the 
scripture was first written and copied out ? " But God 
knoweth, full ill, yet would they have ordered them ; for 
seeing that having it, they have deceived us, in what case 
should we have been now without it ? But thanks be to 
God, that by so wonderful a miracle he hath preserved the 
book still. 

It followeth in the text : Habebit secum, " He shall have 
it with him : " in his progress, he must have a man to 
carry it, that when he is hawking and hunting, or in any 
pastime, he may always commune with them of it. He 
shall read in it, not once a year, for a time, or. .for his 
recreation when he is weary of hawking and hunting, but 
cunctis diebus vitce suie, "all the days of his life." Where 
are those worldlings now ? these bladder-puffed-up wily 
men ? Wo worth them that ever they were about any king ! 
But how shall he read this book? As the Homilies are 
read. Some call them homelies, and indeed so they may 
be well called, for they are homely handled. For though 
the priest read them never so well, yet if the parish like 
them not, there is such talking and babbling in the church 
that nothing can be heard ; and if the parish be good and 
the priest naught, he will so hack it and chop it, that it 
were as good for them to be without it, for any word that 
shall be understood. And yet (the more pity) this is suffered 
of your Grace's bishops, in their dioceses, unpunished. But 
I will be a suiter to your grace, that ye will give your 
bishops charge ere they go home, upon their allegiance, 
to look better to their flock, and to see your Majesty's 
Injunctions better kept, and send your Visitors in their tails : 
and if they be found negligent or faulty in their duties. 



I04 Second Sermon preached before 

out with them. I require it in God's behalf, make them 
quondams, all the pack of them. But peradventure ye 
will say, " Where shall we have any to put in their rooms? " 
Indeed I were a presumptuous fellow, to move your Grace 
to put them out, if there were not other to put in their 
places. But your Majesty hath divers of your chaplains, 
well learned men, and of good knowledge : and yet ye 
have some that be bad enough, hangers-on of the court ; 
I mean not those. But if your Majesty's chaplains, and my 
lord Protector's, be not able to furnish their places, there 
is in this realm (thanks be to God !) a great sight of laymen, 
well learned in the scriptures, and of virtuous and godly 
conversations, better learned than a great sight of us of the 
clergy. I can name a number of them that are able, and 
would be glad, I dare say, to minister the function, if they 
be called to it. I move it of conscience to your Grace, 
let them be called to it orderly ; let them have institution, 
and give them the names of the clergy. I mean not the 
name only, but let them do the function of a bishop, and 
live of the same : not as it is in many places, that one 
should have the name, and eight other the profit. For 
what an enormity is this in a christian realm, to serve in 
a civility, having the profit of a provostship, and a deanery, 
and a parsonage ! But I will tell you what is like to come 
of it ; it will bring the clergy shortly into a very slavery. 

I may not forget here my scala coeli, that I spake of 
in my last sermon. I will repeat it now again, desiring 
your Grace in God's behalf, that ye will remember it. The 
Bishop of Rome had a scala coeli, but his was a mass matter. 
This scala cosli, that I now speak of, is the true ladder 
that bringeth a man to heaven. The top of the ladder, 
or first greese, is this : " Whosoever calleth upon the 
name of the Lord shall be saved." The second step : 
" How shall they call upon him, in whom they have not 
believed ? " The third stair is this : " How shall they be- 
lieve in him, of whom they never heard ? " The fourth 
step: "How shall they hear without a preacher?" Now 
the nether end of the ladder is : *' How shall they preach 
except they be sent ? " This is the foot of the ladder, so 
that we may go backward now, and use the school argu- 
ment ; a priino ad ultimuiri : take away preaching, take 
away salvation. But I fear one thing; and it is, lest for 
a safety of a little money, you will put in chantry priests 



King Edward the Sixth 105 

to save their pensions. But I will tell you, Christ bought 
souls with his blood; and will ye sell them for gold or 
silver? I would not that ye should do with chantry 
priests, as ye did with the abbots, when abbeys were put 
down. For when their enormities were first read in the 
parliament-house, they were so great and abominable, that 
there was nothing but " down with them." But within a while 
after, the same abbots were made bishops, as there be some 
of them yet alive, to save and redeem their pensions. O 
Lord ! think ye that God is a fool, and seeth it not ? and if 
he see it, will he not punish it? And so now for safety 
of money, I would not that ye should put in chantry 
priests. I speak not now against such chantry priests as 
are able to preach ; but those that are not able. I will 
not have them put in ; for if ye do this, ye shall answer 
for it. 

It is in the text, that a king ought to fear God : " he 
shall have the dread of God before his eyes." Work not by 
worldly policy ; for worldly policy feareth not God. Take 
heed of these claw-backs, these venomous people that will 
come to you, that will follow you hke Gnathos and Para- 
sites : if you follow them, you are out of your book. If it 
be not according to God's word that they counsel you, do it 
not for any worldly policy ; for then ye fear not God. 

It foUoweth in the text : U^ non elevetur cor ejus, " That 
he be not proud above his brethren." A king must not be 
proud, for God might have made him a shepherd, when he 
made him a king, and done him no wrong. There be many 
examples of proud kings in scripture ; as Pharao, that would 
not hear the message of God : Herod also, that put John 
Baptist to death, and would not hear him ; he told him, that 
" it was not lawful for him to marry his brother's wife : " 
Jeroboam also was a proud king. Another king there was 
that worshipped strange gods, and idols of those men whom 
he had overcome before in battle ; and when a prophet told 
him of it, what said he ? " Who made you one of my coun- 
cil ? " These were proud kings : their examples are not to 
be followed. 

But wherefore shall a king " fear God, and turn neither 
to the right hand nor to the left ? " Wherefore shall he do 
all this ? Ut longo tempore regnet ipse et filii ejus, " That 
he may reign long time, he and his children." Remember 
this. I beseech your Grace; and when these flatterers and 



io6 Second Sermon preached before 

flibbergibs another day shall come, and claw you by the back, 
and say, "Sir, trouble not yourself: what should you study? 
Why should you do this, or that ? " your Grace may answer 
them thus and jay : " What, sirrah ? I perceive you are weary 
of us and our posterity. Doth not God say in such a place, 
that a king should write out a book of God's law, and read 
it, learn to fear God, and why ? That he and his might 
reign long. I perceive now thou art a traitor." Tell him 
this tale once, and I warrant you he will come no more to 
you, neither he, nor any after such a sort. And thus shall 
your Grace drive these flatterers and claw-backs away. 

And I am afraid I have troubled you too long : therefore 
I will furnish the text with an history or two, and then I 
will leave you to God. Ye have heard how a king ought 
to pass the time. He must read the book of God ; and it is 
not enough for him to read, but he must be acquainted with 
all scripture ; he must study, and he must pray : and how 
shall he do both these ? He may learn at Salomon. God 
spake unto Salomon when he was made a king, and bade him 
ask of him what he would, and he should have it. Make 
thy petition, said God, and thou shalt obtain. Now mark 
Salomon's prayer. JDomine, O Domijte Detis, said he, " O 
Lord God, it is thou that hast caused me to reign, and hast 
set me in my father's seat ; for thou, God, only dost make 
kings." Thus should kings praise God and thank God, as 
Salomon did. But what was his petition ? Lord, said he, 
Da mihi cor docile. He asked "a docible heart, a wise 
heart, and wisdom to go in and to go out : " that is, to begin 
all mine affairs well, and to bring them to good effect and 
purpose, that I may learn to guide and govern my people. 

When he had made his petition, it pleased God well, that 
Salomon asked wisdom, and neither riches nor long life ; and 
therefore God made him this answer : " Because thou hast 
chosen wisdom above all things, I will give it thee, and thou 
shalt be the wisest king that ever was before thee." And so 
he was, and the wisest in all kinds of knowledge that ever 
was since. And though he did not ask riches, yet God gave 
him both riches and honour, more than ever any of his ances- 
tors had. So your Grace must learn how to do, of Salomon. 
Ye must take your petition ; now study, now pray. They 
must be yoked together ; and this is called pastime with good 
company. 

Now when God had given Salomon wisdom, he sent him 



King Edward the Sixth 107 

by and by occasion to occupy his wit. For God gave never 
a gift, but he sent occasion, at one time or another, to shew it 
to God's glory. As, if he sent riches, he sendeth poor men 
to be helped with it. But now must men occupy their goods 
otherwise. They will not look on the poor ; they must help 
their children, and purchase them more land than ever their 
grandfathers had before them. But I shall tell you what 
Christ said : " He that loveth his child better than me, is not 
worthy to be my disciple." I cannot see how ye shall stand 
before God at the latter day, when this sentence shall be laid 
against you. 

But to return to my purpose : there were two poor 
women came before Salomon to complain. They were two 
harlots, and dwelled together in one house, and it chanced 
within two days they childed both. The one of these women 
by chance in the night had killed her child, and rose privily 
and went to the other woman, and took her live child away, 
and left her dead child in his place. Upon that they came 
both before Salomon to have the matter judged, whose the 
child was. And the one said, " It is my child : " " Nay," saith 
the other, " it is my child : " " Nay," saith the other, " it is 
mine." So there was yea and nay between them, and they 
held up the matter with scolding after a woman-like fashion. 
At the length Salomon repeated their tale as a good judge 
ought to do, and said to the one woman : " Thou sayest 
the child is thine." " Yea," said she. " And thou sayest 
it is thine," to the other. " Well, fetch me a sword," said 
he ; for there was no way now to try which was the true 
mother, but by natural inclination. And so he said to one 
of his servants, " Fetch me a sword, and divide the child 
between them." When the mother of the child that accused 
the other heard him say so ; " Nay, for God's sake," said 
she, "let her have the whole child, and kill it not." " Nay," 
quoth the other, "neither thine nor mine; but let it be 
divided." Then said Salomon, " Give this woman the child; 
this is the mother of the child." What came of this ? Audivit 
omnes Israel, " When all Israel heard of this judgment, they 
feared the king." It is wisdom and godly knowledge that 
causeth a king to be feared. 

One word note here for God's sake, and I will trouble 
you no longer. Would Salon- on, being so noble a king, hear 
two poor women ? They were poor ; for, as the scripture saith, 
they were together alone in a house ; they had not so much 



io8 Second Sermon preached before 

as one servant between them both, Would king Salomon, 
I say, hear them in his own person ? Yea, forsooth. ,And 
yet I hear of many matters before my lord Protector, and my 
lord Chancellor, that cannot be heard. I must desire my lord 
Protector's grace to hear me in this matter, that your Grace 
would hear poor men's suits yourself. Put them to none 
other to hear, let them not be delayed. The saying is now, 
that money is heard every where ; if he be rich, he shall soon 
have an end of his matter. Others are fain to go home with 
weeping tears, for any help they can obtain at any judge's 
hand. Hear men's suits yourself, I require you in God's 
behalf, and put it not, to the hearing of these velvet coats, 
these upskips. Now a man can scarce know them from an 
ancient knight of the country. I cannot go to my book, 
for poor folks come unto me, desiring me that I will speak 
that their matters may be heard. I trouble my lord of 
Canterbury ; and being at his house, now and then I walk 
in the garden looking in my book, as I can do but little 
good at it. But something I must needs do to satisfy this 
place. I am no sooner in the garden, and have read awhile, 
but by and by cometh there some one or other knocking 
at the gate. Anon cometh my man, and saith : " Sir, there 
is one at the gate would speak with you." When I come 
there, then is it some one or other that desireth me that I 
will speak that his matter might be heard ; and that he hath 
lain this long at great costs and charges, and cannot once 
have his matter come to the hearing : but among all other, 
one specially moved me at this time to speak. This it is, 
sir. A gentlewoman came to me and told me, that a great 
man keepeth certain lands of hers from her, and will be her 
tenant in the spite of her teeth ; and that in a whole twelve- 
month she could not get but one day for the hearing of her 
matter ; and the same day when the matter should be heard, 
the great man brought on his side a great sight of lawyers 
for his counsel, the gentlewoman had but one man of law ; 
and the great man shakes him so, that he cannot tell what 
to do : so that when the matter came to the point, the judge 
was a mean to the gentlewoman, that she would let the great 
man have a quietness in her land. 

I beseech your grace that ye will look to these matters. 
Hear them yourself. View your judges, and hear poor 
men's causes. And you, proud judges, hearken what God 
saith in his holy book : Audite illos, ita parvum ut magnum. 



King Edward the Sixth 109 

*' Hear them," saith he, " the small as well as the great, the 
poor as well as the rich." Regard no person, fear no man : 
why ? Quia Z)o7nini judicium est, " The judgment is God's." 
Mark this saying, thou proud judge. The devil will bring 
this sentence at the daj of doom. Hell will be full of these 
judges, if they repent not and amend. They are worse than 
the wicked judge that Christ speaketh of, that neither feared 
God, nor the world. There was a certain widow that was a 
suitor to a judge, and she met him in every corner of the 
street, crying, " I pray you hear me, I beseech you hear 
me, I ask nothing but right." When the judge saw her so 
importunate, " Though I fear neither God," saith he, " nor 
the world, yet because of her importunateness, I will grant 
her request." But our judges are worse than this judge 
was ; for they will neither hear men for God's sake, nor 
fear of the world, nor importunateness, nor any thing else. 
Yea, some of them will command them to ward, if they be 
importunate. I heard say, that when a suitor came to one 
of them, he said, " What fellow is it that giveth these folk 
counsel to be so importunate ? He would be punished and 
committed to ward." Marry, sir, punish me then ; it is even 
I that gave them counsel, I would gladly be punished in 
such a cause. And if ye amend not, I will cause them to 
cry out upon you still ; even as long as I live : I will do it 
indeed. But I have troubled you long. As I began with 
this sentence : Qucecunque scripta sunt, &c., so will I end 
now with this text : Beati qui audiunt verbum Dei, et cus- 
todiunt illud ; " Blessed are they that hear the word of God 
and keep it." 

There was another suit, and I had almost forgotten it. 
There is a poor woman that lieth in the Fleet, and can- 
not come, by any means that she can make, to her answer, 
and would fain be bailed, offering to put in sureties worth 
a thousand pound ; and yet she cannot be heard. Methink 
this is a reasonable cause ; it is a great pity that such things 
should so be. I beseech God that he will grant, that all 
that is amiss may be amended, that we may hear his word 
and keep it, that we may come to the eternal bliss ! To the 
which bliss I beseech God to bring both you and me. Amen. 



SERMONS PREACHED BEFORE KING 
EDWARD THE SIXTH 

The Third Sermon of M. Htigh Latimer, preached before King 
Edward, March twenty-second, 1549. 

QueBCunque scripta sunt, ad nostram doctrinain scripta sunt. — ROMANS 
XV. 4. 

All things that are written, are written to be our doctrine. 

All things that be written in God's holy book, the bible, 
are written to be our doctrine, long before our time, to serve 
from time to time, and so forth to the world's end. 

Ye shall have in remembrance, most benign and gracious 
audience, that a preacher hath two ofifices, and the one to be 
used orderly after another. The first is, Exhortari per 
sanam doctrinam, " To teach true doctrine." He shall have 
also occasion oftentimes to use another ; and that is, Contra- 
dicentes convincere, " To reprehend, to convince, to confute 
gainsayers, and spurners against the truth." "Why," you 
will say, " will any body gainsay true doctrine, and sound 
doctrine ? Well, let a preacher be sure that his doctrine be 
true, and ,it is not to be thought that anybody will gainsay 
it." If St Paul had not foreseen that there should be gain- 
sayers, he had not need to have appointed the confutation of 
gainsaying. Was there ever yet preacher but there were 
gainsayers that spurned, that winced, that whimpered against 
him, that blasphemed, that gainsayed it ? When Moses came 
to Egypt with sound doctrine, he had Pharao to gainsay 
him. Jeremy was the minister of the true word of God ; he 
had gainsayers, the priests and the false prophets. Elias 
had all Baal's priests, supported by Jesabel, to speak against 
him. John Baptist, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, had the 
Pharisees, the scribes, and the priests, gainsayers to them. 
The apostles had gainsayers also ; for it was said to St Paul 
at Rome, Notum est nobis quod ubique sectiz huic contra- 
dicitur : " We know that every man doth gainsay this 
learning." After the apostles' time the truth was gainsayed 



Third Sermon iii 

with tyrants, as Nero, Maxentius, Domitianus, and such Uke ; 
and also by the doctrine of wicked heretics. In the popish 
mass-time there was no gainsaying ; all things seemed to be 
in peace, in a concord, in a quiet agreement. So long as we 
had in adoration, in admiration, the popish mass, we were 
then without gainsaying. What was that ? The same that 
Chiist speaketh of. Cum fortis armatus custodierit atrium^ 
&c., " When Satan, the devil, hath the guiding of the house, 
he keepeth all in peace that is in his possession." When 
Satan ruleth, and beareth dominion in open religion, as he 
did with us when we preached pardon-matters, purgatory- 
matters, and pilgrimage-matters, all was quiet. He is ware 
enough, he is wily, and circumspect for stirring up any 
sedition. When he keepeth his territory, all is in peace. If 
there were any man that preached in England in times past, 
in tiie Pope's times, as peradventure there was two or three, 
straightways he was taken and nipped in the head with the 
title of an heretic. When he hath the religion in possession, 
he stirreth up no sedition, I warrant you. 

How many dissensions have we heard of in Turky ? But 
a few, I warrant you. He busieth himself there with no 
dissension. For he hath there dominion in the open religion, 
and needeth not to trouble himself any further. The Jews, 
like runagates, wheresoever they dwell (for they be dispersed, 
and be tributaries in all countries where they inhabit), look 
whether ye hear of any heresies among them? But when 
fortis supervenerit, when one stronger than the devil cometh 
in place, which is our Savour Jesus Christ, and revealeth 
his word, then the devil roareth; then he bestir reth him; 
then he raiseth diversity of opinions to slander God's word. 
And if ever concord should have been in religion, when 
should it have been but when Christ was here ? Ye find 
fault with preachers, and say, they cause sedition. We are 
noted to be rash, and undiscreet in our preaching. Yet as 
discreet as Christ was, there was diversity ; yea, what he 
was himself. For when he asked what men called him, his 
apostles answered him, " Some say you are John Baptist, 
some say you are Elias, and some say you are one of the 
prophets ; " and these were they that spake best of him. For 
some said he was a Samaritan, that he had a devil within 
him, a glosser, a drinker, a pot-companion. There was 
never prophet to be compared to him, and yet was there 
never more dissension than when he was, and preached 



112 Third Sermon preached before 

himself. If it were contraried then, will ye think it shall not 
be contraried now, when charity is so cold and iniquity so 
strong ? Thus these backbiters and slanderers must be 
convinced. St Paul said, there shall be intractabiles, that will 
whimp and whine ; there shall be also vanilogui, vain-speakers. 
For the which St Paul appointeth the preacher to stop their 
mouths, and it is a preacher's office to be a mouth-stopper. 

This day I must somewhat do in the second office : I must 
be a gainsayer, and I must stop their mouths, convince, refel 
and confute that they speak slanderously of me. There be 
some gainsayers ; for there be some slanderous people, vain- 
speakers, and intractabiles, which I must needs speak 
against. But first I will make a short rehearsal to put you 
in memory of that that I spake in my last sermon. And 
that done, I will confute one that slandereth me. For one 
there is that I must needs answer unto ; for he slandereth me 
for my preaching before the king's majesty. There be some 
to blame, that when the preacher is weary, yet they will 
have him speak all at once. Ye must tarry till ye hear 
more ; ye must not be offended till ye hear the rest. 
Hear all and then judge all. What, ye are very hasty, 
very quick with your preachers ! But before I enter fur- 
ther into this matter, I shall desire you to pray, &c. 

First of all, as touching my first sermon, I will run it 
over cursorily, ripping a little the matter. I brought in a 
history of the bible, exciting my audience to beware of by- 
walkings, to walk ordiriately, plainly, the king's highway, 
and agree to that which standeth with the order of a realm. 
I shewed you how we were under the blessing of God, for 
our king is tiobilis. I shewed you we have a noble king, 
true inheritor to the crown without doubt. I shewed further- 
more of his godly education. He hath such schoolmasters 
as cannot be gotten in all the realm again. 

Wherefore we may be sure that God blessed this realm, 
although he cursed the realm whose ruler is a child, under 
whom the officers be climbing, and gleaning, stirring, scratch- 
ing and scraping, and voluptuously set on banqueting, and 
for the maintenance of their voluptuousness go by-walks. 
And although he be young, he hath as good and as sage a 
council as ever was in England ; which we may well know 
by their godly proceedings, and setting forth the word of 
God. Therefore let us not be worse than the stiff-necked 
Jews. In king Josias' time, who being young did alter, 



King Edward the Sixth 113 

change, and correct wonderfully the religion, it was never 
heard in Jewry, that the people repined or said, " The king 
is a child : this gear will not last long : it is but one or two 
men's doings: it will not tarry but for a time ; the king knoweth 
it not." Wo worth that ever such men were born ! Take 
heed lest for our rebellion God take his blessing away from us ! 

I entered into the place of the king's pastime : I told 
you how he paust pass his time in reading the book of God, 
(for that is the king's pastime by God's appointment,) in the 
which book he shall learn to fear God. Oh how careful 
God is to set in an order all things that belong to a king, in 
his chamber, in his stable, in his treasure-house ! 

These peevish people in this realm have nothing but " the 
King, the King," in their mouths, when it maketh for their 
purpose. As there was a doctor that preached, " the king's 
Majesty hath his holy water, he creepeth to the cross : " and 
then they have nothing but " the King, the King," in their 
mouths. These be they, my good people, that must have 
their mouths stopped : but if a man tell them of the King's 
proceedings, now they have their shifts and their put-offs, 
saying, " We may not go before a law, we may break no 
order." These be the wicked preachers ; their mouths must 
be stopped : these be the gainsayers. 

Another thing there is that I told you of, Ne elevetur cor 
regis, &c., "The king must not be proud over his brethren." 
He must order his people with brotherly love and charity. 
Here I brought in examples of proud kings. It is a great 
pride in kings and magistrates when they will not hear, nor 
be conformable to the sound doctrine of God. It is another 
kind of pride in kings when they think themselves so high, 
so lofty, that they disdain, and think it r>ot for their honour, 
to hear poor men's causes themselves. They have claw-backs 
that say unto them, " What, Sir ? What need you to trouble 
yourself? Take you your pleasure, hunt, hawk, dance, and 
dally : let us alone ; we will govern and order the common- 
weal matters well enough." Wo worth them! they have been 
the root of all mischief and destruction in this realm. 

A king ought not only for to read and study, but also to 
pray. Let him borrow example of Salomon, who pleased 
God highly with his petition, desiring no worldly things, but 
wisdom, which God did not only grant him, but because he 
asked wisdom, he gave him many more things ; as riches, 
honour, and such like. Oh, how^ it pleased God that he 



114 Third Sermon preached before 

asked wisdom ! And after he had given him this wisdom, 
he sent him also occasion to use the same by a couple of 
strumpets. Here I told an example of a meek king, who so 
continued, until he came into the company of strange women. 
He heard them not by means, or by any other, but in his 
own person; and I think verily the natural mother had never 
had her own child, if he had not heard the cause himself. 
They were meretrices, whores ; although some excuse the 
matter, and say they were but tipplers, such as keep ale- 
houses. But it is but folly to excuse them, seeing the Jews 
were such, and not unlike but they had their stews, and the 
maintenance of whoredom, as they had of other vices. 

One thing I must here desire you to reform, my lords : 
you have put down the stews : but I pray you what is the 
matter amended? What availeth that? Ye have but changed 
the place, and not taken the whoredom away. God should 
be honoured every where ; for the scripture saith, Dommi est 
terra et pletiitudo ejus. ■ " The earth and the land is the 
Lord's." What place should be, then, within a christian 
realm left for to dishonour God ? I must needs shew you 
such news as I hear : for though I see it not myself, not- 
withstanding it cometh faster to me than I would wish. 
I do as St Paul doth to the Corinthians : Auditur inter vos 
stuprum ; " There is such a whoredom among you as is not 
among the gentiles." So likewise auditur, I hear say that 
there is such a whoredom in England as never was seen the 
like. He charged all the Corinthians for one man's offence, 
saying they were all guilty for one man's sin, if they would 
not correct and redress it, but wink at it. Lo, here may 
you see how that one man's sin polluted all Corinth. "A 
litde leaven, as St Paul saith, " corrupteth a great ^deal ot 
dough." This is, communicare alie?iis peccatis, "to be 
partaker of other men's sins." I advertise you in God's 
name, look to it. I hear say there is now more whoredom 
in London than ever there was on the Bank. These be 
the news I have to tell you : I fear they be true. Ye ought 
to hear of it, and redress it. I hear of it, and, as St Paul 
saith, aliqua ex parte credo. There is more open whore- 
dom, more stewed whoredom, than ever was before. For 
God's sake let it be looked upon; it is your office to see 
unto it. Now to my confutation. 

There is a certain man that, shortly after my first ser- 
mon, being asked if he had been at the sermon that day, 



King Edward the Sixth 115 

answered, Yea. " I pray you," said he, " how liked you 
him ? " " Marry," said he, " even as I hked him always : 
a seditious fellow." Oh Lord ! he pinched me there indeed ; 
nay, he had rather a full bite at me. Yet I comfort myself 
with that, that Christ hknself was noted to be a stirrer up 
of the people against the emperor ; and was contented to be 
called seditious. It becometh me to take it in good worth : 
I am not better than he was. In the king's days that dead 
is a many of us were called together before him to say our 
minds in certain matters. In the end, one kneeleth me down, 
and accuseth me of sedition, that I had preached seditious 
doctrine. A heavy salutation, and a hard point of such a 
man's doing, as if I should name him, ye would not think 
it. The king turned to me and said, " What say you to 
that, sir ? " Then I kneeled down, and turned me first 
to mine accuser, and required him : " Sir, what form of 
preaching would you appoint me to preach before a king ? 
Would you have me for to preach nothing as concerning a 
king in the king's sermon ? Have you any commission to 
appoint me what I shall preach?" Besides this, I asked him 
divers other questions,^ and he would make no answer to none 
of them all : he had nothing to say. Then I turned me to 
the king, and submitted myself to his Grace, and said, " I 
never thought myself worthy, nor I never sued to be a 
preacher before your Grace, but I was called to it, and would 
be willing, if you mislike me, to give place to my betters ; 
for I grant there be a great many more worthy of the room 
than I am. And if it be your Grace's pleasure so to allow 
them for preachers, I could be content to bear their books 
after them. But if your Grace allow me for a preacher, 
I would desire your Grace to give me leave to discharge my 
conscience ; give me leave to frame my doctrine according to 
mine audience : I had been a very dolt to have preached so 
at the borders of your realm, as I preach before your Grace." 
And I thank Almighty God, which hath always been my 
remedy, that my sayings were well accepted of the king ; for, 
like a gracious lord, he turned into another communication. 
It is even as the scripture saith. Cor regis in manu Dominiy 
" The Lord directed the king's heart." Certain of my friends 
came to me with tears in their eyes, and told me they looked 
I should have been in the tower the same night. Thus have 
I evermore been burdened with the word of sedition. I have 
offended God grievously, transgressing his law, and but for 



Ii6 Third Sermon preached before 

this remedy and his mercy I would not look to be saved : 
as for sedition, for aught that I know, methinks I should not 
need Christ, if I might so say ; but if I be clear in any 
thing, I am clear in this. So far as I know mine own 
heart, there is no man further from sedition than I ; which 
I have declared in all my doings, and yet it hath been ever 
laid to me. 

Another time, when I gave over rriine office, I should 
have received a certain duty that they call a Pentecostal : 
it came to the sum of fifty and five pound : I set my com- 
missary to gather it, but he could not be suffered, for it was 
said a sedition should rise upon it. Thus they burdened me 
ever with sedition. So this gentleman cometh up now with 
sedition. And wot ye what ? I chanced in my last sermon 
to speak a merry word of the new shilling, to refresh my 
auditory, how I was like to put away my new shilling for 
an old groat. I was herein noted to speak seditiously. Yet 
I comfort myself in one thing, that I am not alone, and 
that I have a fellow ; for it is consolatio miserorum : it is 
comfort of the wretched to have company. 

When I was in trouble \ it was objected and said unto 
me, that I was singular ; that no man thought as I thought ; 
that I loved a singularity in all that I did ; and that I took 
a way contrary to the king and the whole parliament : and 
that I was travailed with them that had better wits than I, 
that I was contrary to them all. Marry, Sir, this was sore 
thunderbolts. I thought it an irksome thing to be alone, and 
to have no fellow. I thought it was possible it might not be 
true that they told me. In the seventh of John, the priests 
sent out certain of the Jews, to bring Christ unto them 
violently. When they came into the temple and heard him 
preach, they were so moved with his preaching, that they 
returned home again, and said to them that sent them, 
Nunqnam sic locutus est homo ut hie homo : " There was 
never man spake like this man." Then answered the Pha- 
risees, JVum et vos seducti estis ? " What, ye brain-sick fools, 
ye hoddy-pecks ^, ye doddy-pouls ^, ye huddes *, do ye be- 
lieve him ? are you seduced also ? Nunquis ex principi- 
bus credit in eum ? Did ye see any great man, or any 
great officer take his part ? Do ye see anybody follow him 

' Respecting the Statute of the Six Articles. 

■^ hoddypake : a term of reproach synonymous with cuckold. Toone. 

' doddy-polls, thickheads, dolts. * husks, refuse of the earth. 



King Edward the Sixth 117 

but beggarly fishers, and such as have nothing to take to ? 
Nunquis ex Pharisceis ? Do ye see any holy man, any 
perfect man, any learned man, take his part ? Turba quce 
ignorat legem execrabilis est: This lay people is accursed: 
it is they that know not the law that take his part, and none 
else." 

Lo, here the Pharisees had nothing to choke the people 
withal but ignorance. They did as our bishops of England, 
who upbraided the people always with ignorance, where they 
were the cause of it themselves. There were, saith St John, 
multi ex principibus qui crediderunt in eum, " Many of the 
chief men believed in him ; " and that was contrary to the 
Pharisees' saying. Oh then, belike they belied him, he was 
not alone. So thought I, there be more of mine opinion than 
I thought : I was not alone. I have now gotten one fellow 
more, a companion of sedition; and wot ye who is my fellow ? 
Esay the prophet. I spake but of a little pretty shilling, 
but he speaketh to Jerusalem after another sort, and was so 
bold to meddle with their coin. " fhou proud, thou covetous, 
thou haughty city of Hierusalem : " Argentum tuum versum 
est in sj^oriam. " Thy silver is turned into," what ? into 
testions^? Scoriam : "into dross." 

Ah, seditious wretch ! what had he to do with the mint ? 
Why should not he have left that matter to some master of 
policy to reprove ? " Thy silver is dross ; it is not fine, it 
is counterfeit ; thy silver is turned ; thou hadst good silver." 
What pertained that to Esay ? Marry, he espied a piece 
of divinity in that policy ; he threateneth them God's 
vengeance for it. He went to the root of the matter, which 
was covetousness. He espied two points in it, that either 
it came of covetousness, which became him to reprove ; or 
else that it tended to the hurt of the poor people : for the 
naughtiness of the silver was the occasion of dearth of all 
things in the realm. He imputeth it to them as a great 
crime. He may be called a master of sedition indeed. Was 
not this a seditious varlet, to tell them this to their beards, 
to their face ? 

This seditious man goeth also forth, saying, Vinum 
tuum mixtum est aqua, " Thy wine is mingled with water." 
Here he meddleth with vintners : belike there were brewers 

' Or testoon. A coin originally worth a shilling ; afterwards 
" cried down " to ninepence; and finally to sixpencCj which still retains 
the name of tester. 



ii8 Third Sermon preached before 

in those days, as there be now. It had been good for our 
missal-priests to have dwelled in that country ; for they 
might have been sure to have their wine well mingled 
with water. I remember how scrupulous I was in my time 
of blindness and ignorance : when I should say mass, I have 
put in water twice or thrice for failing ; insomuch when I 
have been at my memento, I have had a grudge in my 
conscience, fearing that I had not put in water enough. 
And that which is here spoken of wine, he meaneth it of 
all arts in the city, of all kinds of faculties ; for they have 
all their medleys and minglings. That he speaketh of one 
thing, he meaneth generally of all. I must tell you more 
news yet. 

I hear say there is a certain cunning come up in mixing 
of wares. How say you ? were it no wonder to hear that 
cloth-makers should become poticaries ? Yea, and (as I hear 
say) in such a place, where as they have professed the gospel 
and the word of God most earnestly of a long time ? See 
how busy the devil is to slander the word of God. Thus 
the poor gospel goeth to wrack. If his cloth be seventeen 
yards long, he will set him on a rack, and stretch him out 
with ropes, and rack him till the sinews shrink again, while 
he hath brought him to eighteen yards. When they have 
brought him to that perfection, they have a pretty feat to 
thick him again. He makes me a powder for it, and plays 
the poticary ; they call it flodk-powder ; they do so incor- 
porate it to the cloth, that it is wonderful to consider : 
truly a goodly invention Ly Oh that so goodly wits should 
be so ill applied ! They may well deceive the people, but 
they cannot deceive God. They were wont to make beds 
of flocks, and it was a good bed too : now they have 
turned their flocks into powder, to play the false thieves with 
it. O wicked devil ! what can he not invent to blaspheme 
God's word ? These mixtures come of covetousness. They 
are plain theft. Wo worth that these flocks should so 
slander the word of God! As he said to the Jews, "Thy 
wine is mingled with water," so might he have said to us of 
this land, " Thy cloth is mingled with flock-powder." He 
goeth yet on. 

This seditious man reproveth this honourable city, and 
saith, Principes tui infideles ; " Thou land of Jerusalem, 
thy magistrates, thy judges are unfaithful : " they keep no 
touch, they will talk of many gay things, they will pretend 



King Edward the Sixth 1 19 

this and that, but they keep no promise. They be worse 
than unfaithful. He was not afraid to call the officers 
unfaithful, et socii furum ; and " fellows of thieves : " for 
thieves and thieves' fellows be all of one sort. They were 
wont to say, " Ask my fellow if I be a thief." He calleth 
princes thieves. What! princes thieves? What a seditious 
harlot was this ! Was he worthy to live in a commonwealth 
that would call princes on this wise, fellows of thieves ? 
Had they a standing at Shooters-Hill, or Standgate-hole, 
to take a purse ? Why ? Did they stand by the high- 
way side? Did they rob, or break open any man's house 
or door ? No, no ; that is a gross kind of thieving. They 
were princes : they had a prince-like kind of thieving, Omnes 
diligunt 7nunera : " they all love bribes." Bribery is a 
princely kind of thieving. They will be waged by the 
rich, either to give sentence against the poor, or to put 
off the poor man's causes. This is the noble theft of 
princes and of magistrates. They are bribe-takers. Now-a- 
days they call them gentle rewards: let them leave their 
colouring, and call them by their christian name, bribes : 
Omnes diligunt munera. " All the princes, all the judges, 
all the priests, all the rulers, are bribers." What ? Were 
all the magistrates in Jerusalem all bribe-takers ? None 
good ? No doubt there were some good. This word omnes 
signifieth the most part ; and so there be some good, I doubt 
not of it, in England. But yet we be far worse than those 
stiff-necked Jews. For we read of none of them that 
winced nor kicked against Esay's preaching, or said that he 
was a seditious fellow. It behoveth the magistrates to be 
in credit, and therefore it might seem that Esay was to 
blame to speak openly against the magistrates. It is very 
sure that they that be good will bear, and not spurn at 
the preachers : they that be faulty they must amend, and 
neither spurn, nor wince, nor whine. He that findeth 
himself touched or galled, he declareth himself not to be 
upright. Wo worth these gifts ! they subvert justice every- 
where. Sequuntur retributiones : " they follow bribes." 
Somewhat was given to them before, and they must needs 
give somewhat again : for Giffe-gaffe was a good fellow ; 
this Giffe-gaffe led them clean from justice. " They follow 
gifts." 

A good fellow on a time bade another of his friends to a 
breakfast, and said, "If you will come, you shall be welcome ; 



I20 Third Sermon preached before 

but I tell you aforehand, you shall have but slender fare : 
one dish, and that is all." " What is that," said he ? "A 
pudding, and nothing else." "Marry," said he, "you cannot 
please me better ; of all meats, that is for mine own tooth ; 
you may draw me round about the town with a pudding." 
These bribing magistrates and judges follow gifts faster than 
the fellow would follow the pudding. 

I am content to bear the title of sedition with Esay : 
thanks be to God, I am not alone, I am in no singularity. 
This same man that laid sedition thus to my charge was 
asked another time, whether he were at the sermon at Paul's 
cross : he answered that he was there : and being asked 
what news there; "Marry," quoth he, "wonderful news; we 
were there clean absolved, my mule and all had full absolu- 
tion." Ye may see by this, that he was such a one as rode 
on a mule, and that he was a gentleman. Indeed his mule 
was wiser than he ; for I dare say the mule never slandered 
the preacher. O what an unhappy chance had this mule, 
to carry such an ass upon his back ! I was there at the 
sermon myself: in the end of his sermon he gave a general 
absolution, and, as far as I remember, these or such other 
like words, but at the least I am sure this was his meaning ; 
" As many as do acknowledge yourselves to be sinners, and 
confess the same, and stand not in defence of it, and heartily 
abhorreth it, and will believe in the death of Christ, and be 
comformable thereunto. Ego absolvo vos" quoth he. Now, 
saith this gentleman, his mule was absolved. The preacher 
absolved but such as were sorry and did repent. Belike 
then she did repent her stumbling ; his mule was wiser than 
he a great deal. I speak not of worldly wisdom, for therein 
he is too wise ; yea, he is so wise, that wise men marvel 
how he came truly by the tenth part of that he hath : but 
in wisdom which consisteth in rebus Dei, in rebus salutis, 
in godly matters, anH appertaining to our salvation, in this 
wisdom he is as blind as a beetle : tanquam equus et mulus, 
in quibus non est intelledus ; " like horses and mules, that 
have no understanding." If it were true that the mule 
repented her of her stumbling, I think she was better absolved 
than he. I pi;ay God stop his mouth, or else to open it 
to speak better, and more to his glory ! 

Another man, quickened with a word I spake, as he said, 
opprobriously against the nobility, that their children did not 
set forth God's word, but were unpreaching prelates, was 



King Edward the Sixth 121 

offended with me. I did not mean so but that some 
noblemen's children had set forth God's word, howbeit the 
poor men's sons have done it always for the most part. 
Johannes Alasco was here, a great learned man, and, as they 
say, a nobleman in his country, and is gone his way again : 
if it be for lack of entertainment, the more pity. I would 
wish such men as he to be in the realm ; for the realm 
should prosper in receiving of them : Qui vos recipit me 
recipit, " Who receiveth you, receiveth me," saith Christ ; and 
it should be for the king's honour to receive them and keep 
them. I heard say Master Melancthon, that great clerk, 
should come hither. I would wish him, and such as he is, 
to have two hundred pound a year ; the king should never 
want it in his coffers at the year's end. There is yet 
among us two great learned men, Petrus Martyr and Barnard 
Ochin, which have a hundred marks apiece : I would the 
king would bestow a thousand pound on that sort. 

Now I will to my place again. In the latter end of my 
sermon, I exhorted judges to hear the small as well as the 
gxtzX; Juste quod justum est judicare, "You must not only 
do justice, but do it justly : " you must observe all circum- 
stances : you must give justice, and minister just judgment 
in time ; for the delaying of matters of the poor folk is as 
sinful before the face of God as wrong judgment. 

I rehearsed here a parable of a wicked judge, which for 
importunity's sake heard the poor woman's cause, &c. 

Here is a comfortable place for all you that cry out, and 
are oppressed : for you have not a wicked judge, but a 
merciful judge to call unto. I am not now so full of foolish 
pity, but I can consider well enough that some of you 
complain without a cause. They weep, they wail, they mourn, 
I am sure some not without a cause : I did not here reprove 
all judges, and find fault with all. I think we have some as 
painful magistrates as ever was in England ; but I will not 
swear they be all so : and they that be not of the best, must 
be content to be taught, and not disdain to be reprehended. 
David saith, Erudimini qui judicatis terrain : I refer it 
to your conscience, vos qui judicatis terram, " ye that be 
judges on the earth," whether ye have heard poor men's 
causes with expedition or no. If ye have not, then erudimini, 
be content to be touched, to be told. You widows, you 
orphans, you poor people, here is a comfortable place for you. 
Though these judges of the world will not hear you, there is 



122 Third Sermon preached before 

one will be content with your importunity ; he will remedy 
you, if you come after a right sort unto him. Ye say, the 
judge doth blame you for your importunity, it is irksome 
unto him. He entered into this parable to teach you to be 
importune in your petition ; non defatigari, " not to be 
weary." Here he teacheth you how to come to God in 
adversity, and by what means, which is by prayer. I do 
not speak of the merit of Christ ; for he saith. Ego sum via, 
" I am the way : " Qui credit in me, habet vitam ceterna7n, 
" Whoso believeth in me hath everlasting life." But when 
we are come to Christ, what is our way to remedy adversity 
in anguish, in tribulations, in our necessities, in our injuries ? 
The way is prayer. We are taught by the commandment 
of God, Invoca me in die tribulafioftis, et ego eripiam te. 
Thou widow, thou orphan, thou fatherless child, I speak 
to thee, that hast no friends to help thee : " call upon me 
in the day of thy tribulation, call upon me ; Ego eripiam 
te, I will .pluck thee away, I will deliver thee, I will take 
thee away, I will relieve thee, thou shalt have thy heart's 
desire." 

Here is the promise, here is the comfort : Glorificabis 
me, " Thou shalt glorify me ; thank me, accept me for the 
author of it, and thank not this creature or that for it." Here 
is the judge of all judges ; come unto me, and he will hear 
you : for he saith, Quicquid petieritis Patrem in nomine 
meo, &c., " Whatsoever ye ask my Father in my name, shall 
be given you through my merits." "You miserable people, 
that are wronged in the world, ask of my Father in your 
distresses ; but put me afore, look you come not with brags 
of your own merits, but come in my name, and by my 
merit." He hath not the property of this stout judge ; he 
will bear your importuna<"eness, he will not be angry at your 
crying and calling. The prophet saith, Speraverunt in te 
patres nostri, et exaudivisti illos ; " Thou God, thou God, 
our fathers did cry unto thee, and thou heardest them. Art 
not thou our God as well as theirs ? " There is nothing more 
pleasant to God than for to put him in remembrance of his 
goodness shewed unto our forefathers. It is a pleasant thing 
to tell God of the benefits that he hath done before our time. 
Go to Moses, who had the guiding of God's people ; see how 
he used prayer as an instrument to be delivered out of ad- 
versity, when he had great rough mountains on every side of 
him, and before him the Red Sea; Pharao's host behind 



King Edward the Sixth 123 

him, peril of death round about him. What did he? despaired 
he? No. Whither went he? He repaired to God with his 
prayer, and said nothing : yet with a great ardency of 
spirit he pierced God's ear : " Now help, or never, good 
Lord ; no help but in thy hand," quoth he. Though he never 
moved his lips, yet the scripture saith he cried out, and the 
Lord heard him, and said, Quid damas ad me ? " Why 
criest thou out so loud?" The people heard him say nothing, 
and yet God said, "Why criest thou out?" Straightways 
he struck the water with his rod, and divided it, and it 
stood up like two walls on either side, between the which 
God's people passed, and the persecutors were drowned. 
(Exod. xiv.) 

Josue was in anguish and like distress at Jericho, that 
true captain, that faithful judge : no follower of retributions, 
no bribe-taker, he was no money-man : who made his petition 
to Almighty God to shew him the cause of his wrath toward 
him, when his army was plagued after the taking of Jericho. 
So he obtained his prayer, and learned that for one man's 
fault all the rest were punished. For Achan's covetousness 
many a thousand were in agony and fear of death, who hid 
his money, as he thought, from God. But God saw it well 
enough, and brought it to light. This Achan was a by- 
walker. Well : it came to pass, when Josua knew it, straight- 
ways he purged the army, and took away maliiin de Israel, 
that is, wickedness from the people. For Josua called him 
before the people, and said, Da gloriam Deo, " Give praise 
to God ; tell truth, man : " and forthwith he told it : and then 
he and all his house suffered death. A goodly ensample for 
all magistrates to follow. Here was the execution of a true 
judge : he was no gift-taker, he was no winker, he was no 
by-walker. Also when the Assyrians with an innumerable 
power of men in Joshaphat's time overflowed the land of 
Israel, Joshaphat, that good king, goeth me straight to 
God, and made his prayer : Non est in nostra fortitudine 
(said he) hide popido resistere ; " It is not in our strength, 
O Lord, to resist this people." And after his prayer God 
delivered him, and at the same time ten thousand were 
destroyed. So, ye miserable people, you must go to God 
in anguishes, and make your prayer to him. 

Arm yourselves with prayer in your adversities. Many 
begin to pray, and suddenly cast away prayer; the devil 
putteth such phantasies in their heads, as though God would 



124 Third Sermon preached before 

not intend them, or had somewhat else to do. But you must 
be importune, and not weary, nor cast away prayer: nay, 
you must cast away sin ; God will hear your prayer, albeit 
you be sinners. I send you to a judge that will be glad 
to hear you. You that are oppressed, I speak to you. 
Christ in this parable doth paint the good-will of God toward 
you, O miserable people ! He that is not received, let him 
not despair, nor think that God hath forsaken him : for God 
tarrieth till he seeth a time, and better can do all things for 
us, than we ourselves can wish. 

"There was a wicked judge," &c. What meaneth it 
that God borroweth this parable rather of a wicked judge, 
than of a good ? Belike good judges were rare at that time : 
and trow ye the devil hath been asleep ever since ? No, no : 
he is as busy as ever he was. The common manner of a 
wicked judge is, neither to fear God nor man. He consider- 
eth what a man he is, and therefore he careth not for man, 
because of his pride. He looketh high over the poor ; he 
will be had in admiration, in adoration. He seemeth to be 
in a protection. Well, shall he escape ? No, no. Est Deus 
in coelo, " There is a God in heaven ; " he accepteth no 
persons, he will punish them. There was a poor woman 
came to this judge, and said, Vindica me de adversario, 
"See that mine adversary do me no wrong." He would not 
hear her, but drove her off. She had no money to wage 
either him, either them that were about him. Did this 
woman well to be avenged of her adversary ? May christian 
people seek vengeance ? The Lord saith, Mihi vindictam et 
ego retribiiam ; " When ye revenge, ye take mine office 
upon you." This is to be understood of private vengeance. 
It is lawful for God's flock to use means to put away wrongs ; 
to resort to judges, to require to have sentence given of 
right. St Paul sent to Lysias the tribune, to have this 
ordinary remedy : and Christ also said. Si male lociitus sum, 
&c., " If I have spoken evil, rebuke me." Christ here an- 
swered for himself Note here, my lords and masters, what 
case poor widows and orpTians be in. I will tell you, my 
lords judges, if ye consider this matter well, ye should be 
more afraid of the poor widow, than of a nobleman, with all 
the friends and power that he can make. 

But now-a-days the judges be afraid to hear a poor man 
against the rich ; insomuch they will either pronounce against 
him, or so drive off the poor man's suit, that he shall not be 



King Edward the Sixth 125 

able to go through with it. The greatest man in a realm 
cannot so hurt a judge as a poor widow ; such a shrewd turn 
she can do him. And with what armour, I pray you ? She 
can bring the judge's skin over his ears, and never lay hands 
upon him. And how is that ? LacrymcB miserorum de- 
scendunt ad maxillas, " The tears of the poor fall down upon 
their cheeks," et ascendunt ad cxluni, " and go up to heaven," 
and cry for vengeance before God, the judge of widows, the 
father of widows and orphans. Poor people be oppressed 
even by laws. Vce its qui condunt leges iniquas ! "Wo 
worth to them that make evil laws against the poor ! What 
shall be to them that hinder and mar good laws ? " Quid 
facietis in die ultionis ? " What will ye do in the day of great 
vengeance, when God shall visit you ? " He saith, he will 
hear the tears of poor women when he goeth on visitation. 
For their sake he will hurt the judge, be he never so high. 
Deus transfert regna. He will for widows' sakes change 
realms, bring them into temptation, pluck the judges' skins 
over their heads. 

Cambyses was a great emperor, such another as our 
master is : he had many lords-deputies, lords-presidents, 
and lieutenants under him. It is a great while ago since 
I read the history. It chanced he had under him in one 
of his dominions a briber, a gift-taker, a gratifier of rich 
men ; he followed gifts as fast as he that followed the 
pudding ; a hand-maker in his office, to make his son a 
great man ; as the old saying is, " Happy is the child whose 
father goeth to the devil." The cry of the poor widow 
came to the emperor's ear, and caused him to flay the 
judge quick, and laid his skin in his chair of judgment, 
that all judges that should give judgment afterward should 
sit in the same skin. Surely it was a goodly sign, a 
goodly monument, the sign of the judge's skin. I pray 
God we may once see the sign of the skin in England ! 

Ye will say, peradventure, that this is cruelly and un- 
charitably spoken. No, no ; I do it charitably, for a love I 
bear my country. God saith. Ego visiiabo, " I will visit." 
God hath two visitations : the first is, when he revealeth his 
word by preachers; and where the first is accepted, the second 
Cometh not. The second visitation is vengeance. He went a 
visitation, when he brought the judge's skin over his ears. 
If his word be despised, he cometh with his second visitation, 
with vengeance. 



126 Third Sermon preached before 

Noe preached God's word a hundred years, and was 
laughed to scorn, and called an old doting fool. Because 
they would not accept this first visitation, God visited them 
the second time ; he poured down showers of rain, till all the 
world was drowned. Loth was a visitor of Sodome and Go- 
morre ; but because they regarded not his preaching, God 
visited them the second time, and burnt them all up with 
brimstone, saving Loth. Moses came first a visitation into 
Egypt with God's word, and because they would not hear 
him, God visited them again, and drowned them in the Red 
sea. God likewise with his first visitation visited the Israel- 
ites by his prophets ; but because they would not hear his 
prophets, he visited them the second time, and dispersed 
them in Assyria and Babylon. John Baptist likewise, and 
our Saviour Christ, visited them afterward, declaring to them 
God's will ; and because they despised these visitors, he de- 
stroyed Hierusalem by Titus and Vespasianus. Germany was 
visited twenty years with God's word, but they did not 
earnestly embrace it, and in life follow it, but made a mingle- 
mangle and a hotch-potch of it — I cannot tell what, partly 
popery, partly true religion, mingled together. They say in 
my country, when they call their hogs to the swine-trough, 
' Come to thy mingle-mangle, come pur, come pur : ' even so 
they made mingle-mangle of it. They could clatter and prate 
of the gospel ; but when all cometh to all, they joined popery 
so with it that they marred all together : they scratched and 
scraped all the livings of the church, and under a colour of 
religion turned it to their own proper gain and lucre. God, 
seeing that they would not come unto his word, now he visit- 
eth them in the second time of his visitation, with his wrath : 
for the taking away of God's word is a manifest token of his 
wrath. 

We have now a first visitation in England ; let us beware 
of the second. We have the ministration of his word ; we 
are yet well : but the house is not clean swept yet. God 
hath sent us a noble king in this his visitation ; let us not 
provoke him against us. Let us beware ; let us not displease 
him ; let us not be unthankful and unkind ; let us beware of 
by-walking and contemning of God's word ; let us pray dili- 
gently for our king; let us receive with all obedience and 
prayer the word of God. 

A word or two more, and I commit you to God. I will 
monish you of a thing. I hear say ye walk inordinately, ye 



King Edward the Sixth 127 

talk unseemly, otherwise than it becometh christian subjects : 
ye take upon you to judge the judgments of judges. I will 
not make the king a pope ; for the pope will have all things 
that he doth taken for an article of our faith. I will not 
say but that the king and his council may err ; the parlia- 
ment houses, both the high and low, may err ; I pray daily 
that they may not err. It becometh us, whatsoever they 
decree, to stand unto it, and receive it obediently, as far 
forth as it is not manifest wicked, and directly against the 
word of God. It pertaineth unto us to think the best, 
though we cannot render a cause for the doing of everv 
thing ; for caritas omnia credit, omnia sperat, " Charity 
doth believe and trust all things." We ought to expound 
to the best all things, although we cannot yield a reason. 

Therefore I exhort you, good people, pronounce in good 
part all the facts and deeds of the magistrates and judges. 
Charity judgeth the best of all men, and specially of magis- 
trates. St Paul saith, Nolite judicare ante tempus donee 
Doininus advenerit, "Judge not before the time of the 
Lord's coming." Pravu7n cor hominis, " Man's heart is un- 
searchable ; " it is a ragged piece of work ; no man knoweth 
his own heart ; and therefore David prayeth, and saith, Ab 
occultis meis menda me, " Deliver me from my unknown 
faults : " I am a further offender than I can see. A man 
shall be blinded in love of himself, and cannot see so much in 
himself as in other men. Let us not therefore judge judges. 
We are accountable to God, and so be they : let them alone, 
they have their accounts to make. If we have charity in us, 
we shall do this ; for caritas operatur, " Charity worketh." 
What worketh it? Marry, omnia credere, omnia sperare, 
" to accept all things in good part." Nolite judicare ante 
tempus, " Judge not before the Lord's coming." In this we 
learn to know antichrist, which doth elevate himself in the 
church, and judgeth at his pleasure before the time. His 
canonizations, and judging of men before the Lord's judgment, 
be a manifest token of antichrist. How can he know saints ? 
He knoweth not his own heart. And he cannot know them 
by miracles, for some miracle-workers shall go to the devil. 

I will tell you what I remembered yesternight in my 
bed ; a marvellous tale to perceive how inscrutable a man's 
heart is. I was once at Oxford, (for I had occasion to come 
that way, when I was in my office ;) they told me it was a 
gainer way, and a fairer way; and by that occasion I lay 



128 Third Sermon 

there a night. Being there, I heard of an execution that was 
done upon one that suffered for treason : it was, as ye know, 
a dangerous world, for it might soon cost a man his hfe for a 
word speaking. I cannot tell what the matter was, but the 
judge set it so out that the man was condemned : the twelve 
men came in and said, " Guilty ; " and upon that he was 
judged to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. When the rope 
was about his neck, no man could persuade him that he was 
in any fault ; and stood there a great while in the protestation 
of his innocency ; they hanged him, and cut him down some- 
what too soon, afore he was clean dead ; then they drew him 
to the fire, and he revived ; and then he coming to his 
remembrance, confessed his fault, and said he was guilty. 
Oh, a wonderful example ! It may well be said, Pravum 
cor ho minis et inscrutabile, " A crabbed piece of work, and 
unsearchable." 

I will leave here, for I think you know 'what I mean 
well enough. I shall not need to apply this example any 
further. As I began ever with this saying, Qucecunque 
scripta sunt, like a truant, so I have a common-place to the 
end, if my memory fail not, Beati qui audiunt verbum Dei, 
et custodiunt illud, " Blessed be they that hear the word of 
God, and keep it." It must be kept in memory, in living, and 
in our conversation : and if we so do, we shall come to the 
blessedness which God prepared for us through his son Jesus 
Christ ; to the which may he bring us all. Amen. 



SERMONS PREACHED BEFORE KING 
EDWARD THE SIXTH 

The Fourth Sermon preached before King Edward, 
March 2gth, 1549. 

Quacunque scripta sunt, ad nostram dodrinam, &c. — ROMANS xv. 4, 
All things that are written, are written to be our doctrine. 

The parable that I took to begin with, most honourable 
audience, is written in the eighteenth chapter of St Luke ; 
and there is a certain remnant of it behind yet. The parable 
is this : " There was a certain judge in a city that feared 
neither God nor man. And in the same city there was a 
widow that required justice at his hands ; but he would not 
hear her, but put her off, and delayed the matter. In pro- 
cess, the judge, seeing her importunity, said, ' Though I fear 
neither God nor man, yet for the importunity of the woman 
I will hear her ; lest she rail upon me, and molest me with 
exclamations and outcries, I will hear her matter, I will make 
an -end of it.' " Our Saviour Christ added more unto this, 
and said, Audite, quid judex dicat, &c. " Hear you," said 
Christ, " what the wicked judge said. And shall not God 
revenge his elect, that cry upon him day and night ? 
Although he tarry, and defer them, I say unto you, he 
will revenge them, and that shortly. But when the Son of 
man shall come, shall he find faith in the earth ? " 

That I may have grace so to open the remnant of this 
parable, that it may be to the glory of God, and edifying 
of your souls, I shall desire you to pray, in the which 
prayer, &c. 

I shewed you the last day, most honourable audience, 
the cause why our Saviour Christ rather used the example of 
a wicked judge, than of a good. And the cause was, for 
that in those days there was great plenty of wicked judges, 
so that he might borrow an example among them well 

129 K 



130 Fourth Sermon preached before 

enough ; for there was much scarcity of good judges. I did 
excuse the widow also for coming to the judge against her 
adversary, because she did it not of malice, she did it not 
for appetite of vengeance. And I told you that it was good 
and lawful for honest, virtuous folk, for God's people, to use 
the laws of the realm as an ordinary help against their ad- 
versaries, and ought to take them as God's holy ordinances, 
for the remedies of their injuries and wrongs, when they are 
distressed ; so that they do it charitably, lovingly, not of 
malice, not vengeably, not covetously. 

I should have told you here of a certain sect of heretics 
that speak against this order and doctrine ; they will have no 
magistrates nor judges on the earth. Here I have to tell 
you what I heard of late, by the relation of a credible person 
and a worshipful man, of a town in this realm of England, 
that hath above five hundred heretics of this erroneous opi- 
nion in it, as he said. Oh, so busy the devil is now to hinder 
the word coming out, and to slander the gospel ! A sure 
argument, and an evident demonstration, that the light of 
God's word is abroad, and that this is a true doctrine that 
we are taught now ; else he would not roar and stir about as 
he doth. When that he hath the upper hand, he will keep 
his possession quietly, as he did in the popish days, when 
he bare a rule of supremacy in peaceable possession. If he 
reigned now in open religion, in open doctrine, as he did 
then, he would not stir up erroneous opinions ; he would have 
kept us without contention, without dissension. There is no 
such diversity of opinion among the Turks, nor among the 
Jews. And why ? For there he reigneth peaceably in the 
whole religion. Christ saith, Cum fortis arinatus custodierit 
atrium, &c. " When the strong armed man keepeth his 
house, those things that he hath in possession are in a quiet- 
ness, he doth enjoy them peaceably : " sed cum fortior eo 
supervenerit, " But when a stronger than he cometh upon 
him," when the light of God's word is once revealed, then he 
is busy ; then he roars ; then he fisks abroad, and stirreth up 
erroneous opinions to slander God's word. And this is an 
argument that we have the true doctrine. I beseech God 
continue us and keep us in it ! The devil declareth the same, 
and therefore he roars thus, and goeth about to stir up these 
wanton heads and busy brains. 

And will you know where this town is ? I will not tell 
you directly ; I will put you to muse a little ; I will utter 



King Edward the Sixth 131 

the matter by circumlocution. Where is it? Where the 
bishop of the diocese is an unpreaching prelate. Who is 
that ? If there be but one such in all England, it is easy to 
guess : and if there were no more but one, yet it were too 
many by one ; and if there be more, they have the more 
to answer for, that they suffer in this realm an unpreaching 
prelate unreformed. I remember well what St Paul saith to 
a bishop, and though he spake it to Timothy, being a bishop, 
yet I may say it now to the magistrates ; for all is one case, 
all is one matter : Non communicabis peccatis alienis, " Thou 
shalt not be partaker of other men's faults." Lay not thy 
hands rashly upon any ; be not hasty in making of curates, in 
receiving men to have cure of souls that are not worthy of 
the ofifice, that either cannot or will not do their duty. Do 
it not. Why ? Quia communicabis peccatis alienis : " Thou 
shalt not be partaker of other men's sins." Now methink it 
needs not to be partaker of other men's sins ; we shall find 
enough of our own. And what is communicare peccatis ali- 
enis, "to be partaker of other men's evils," if this be not, 
to make unpreaching prelates, and to suffer them to continue 
still in their unpreaching prelacy ? If the king and his coun- 
cil should suffer evil judges of this realm to take bribes, to 
defeat justice, and suffer the great to overgo the poor, and 
should look through his fingers, and wink at it, should not 
the king be partaker of their naughtiness ? And why ? Is 
he not supreme head of the church ? What, is the supre- 
macy a dignity, and nothing else ? Is it not accountable ? 
I think it will be a chargeable dignity when account shall be 
asked of it. 

Oh, what advantage hath the devil ! What entry hath the 
wolf when the shepherd tendeth not his flock, and leads them 
not to good pasture ! St Paul doth say. Qui bene prcesunt 
presbyteri duplici honore digni sunt. What is this prcr,esse ? 
It is as much to say, as to take charge and cure of souls. 
We say, Ille prceest, he is set over the flock. He hath 
taken charge upon him. And what is bene pmesse ? To dis- 
charge the cure well ; to rule well ; to feed the flock with 
pure food and good example of life. Well then ; Qui bene 
prcEsunt duplici honore digni sunt, " They that discharge 
their cure well are worthy double honour." What is this 
double honour ? The first is, to be reverenced, to be had in 
estimation and reputation with the people, and to be regarded 
as good pastors : another honour is, to have all things neces- 



132 Fourth Sermon preached before 

sary for their state ministered unto them. This is the double 
honour that they ought to have, qui prcesunt bene, that 
discharge the cure, if they do it bene. 

There was a merry monk in Cambridge in the college 
that I was in, and it chanced a great company of us to be 
together intending to make ggod cheer, and to be merry ; as 
scholars will be merry when they are disposed. One of the 
company brought out this sentence : Nil melius quam Icetari, 
et facere bene ; "There is nothing better than to be merry, 
and to do well." " A vengeance of that bene,'^ quoth the 
monk ; " I would that bene had been banished beyond the 
sea : and that bene were out, it were well ; for I could be 
merry, and I could do, but I love not to do well : that bene 
mars all together. I would bene were out," quoth the merry 
monk ; " for it importeth many things, to live well, to dis- 
charge the cure." Indeed it were better for them if it were 
out, and it were as good to be out as to be ordered as it is. 
It will be a heavy bene to some of them, when they shall 
come to their account. But peradventure you will say, 
" What, and they preach not all, yet prcesunt : are they not 
worthy double honour ? Is it nt t an honourable order they 
be in?" Nay, an horrible misoider; it is an horror rather 
than an honour, and horrible rather than honourable, if the 
preacher be naught, and do not his duty. And thus go these 
prelates about to wrestle for honour, that the devil may take 
his pleasure in slandering the realm, and that it may be re- 
ported abroad that we breed heresies among ourselves. It is 
to be thought that some of them would have it so, to bring 
in popery again. This I fear me is their intent, and it shall 
be blown abroad to our holy Father of Rome's ears, and 
he shall send forth his thunderbolts upon these bruits : and 
all this doth come to pass through their unpreaching prelacy. 

Are they not worthy double honour ? Nay, rather double 
dishonour, not to be regarded, not to be esteemed .among the 
people, r.nd to have no living at their hands. For as good 
preachers be worthy double honour, so unpreaching prelates 
be worthy double dishonour. They must be at their doublets. 
But now these two dishonours, what be they ? Our Saviour 
Christ doth shew : Si sal infatuatus fuerit, ad nihil ultra 
valet nisi ut projiciatur foras ; " If the salt be unsavoury, it 
is good for nothing, but to be cast out, and trodden of men." 
By this salt is understood preachers, and such as have cure 
of souls ? What be they worthy then ? Wherefore serve 



King Edward the Sixth 133 

they ? For nothing else but to be cast out. Make them 
quondams. Out with them ; cast them out of their office : 
what should they do with cures, that will not look them it ? 
Another dishonour is this, Ut conculcentur ab hominibus, 
"To be trodden under men's feet; " not to be regarded, not 
to be esteemed. They be at their doublets still. St Paul in 
his epistle qualifieth a bishop, and saith that he must be 
aptus ad docendtim, ad refellendum, apte, " to teach, and to 
confute all manner of false doctrine." But what shall a man 
do with aptness, if he do not use it ? It were as good for us 
to be without it. 

A bishop came to me the last day, and was angry with 
me for a certain sermon that I made in this place. His chap>- 
lain had complained against me, because I had spoken against 
uiipreaching prelates. " Nay," quoth the bishop, " he made 
so indifferent a sermon the first day, that I thought he would 
mar all the second day : he will have every man a quondam, 
as he is." As for my quondamship, I thank God that he gave 
me the grace to come by it by so honest a means as I did ; 
1 thank him for mine own quondamship : and as for them, 
I would not have them made quondams, if they discharge 
their office ; I would have them do their duty, I would have 
no more quondams, as God help me. I owe them no more 
malice than this, and that is none at all. 

This bishop answered his chaplain : " Well," says he, " well, 
I did wisely to-day ; for as I was going to his sermon, I re- 
membered me that I had neither said mass nor matins, and 
homeward I gat as fast as I could ; and I thank God I have 
said both, and let his unfruitful sermon alone." "Unfruitful," 
saith one; another saith, "seditious." Well, unfruitful is the 
best: and whether it be unfruitful or no, I cannot tell; it lieth 
not in' me to make it fruitful : and God work not in your 
hearts, my preaching can do you but httle good. I am 
God's instrument but for a time ; it is he that must give 
the increase : and yet preaching is necessary ; for take away 
preaching, and take away salvation. I told you of Scala 
coeli, and I made it a preaching matter, not a massing matter. 
Christ is the preacher of all preachers, the pattern and the 
exemplar that all preachers ought to follow. For it was he 
by' whom the Father of heaven said, Hie est Filius mens 
dilectus, ipsum audite, "This is my well-beloved Son, hear 
him." Even he, when he was here on the earth, as wisely, 
as learnedly, as circumspectly as he preached, yet his seed 



134 Fourth Sermon preached before 

fell in three parts, so that the fourth part only was fruitful. 
And if he had no better luck that was preacher of all preach- 
ers, what shall we look for ? Yet was there no lack in him, 
but in the ground: and so now there is no fault in preaching; 
the lack is in the people, that have stony hearts and thorny 
hearts. I beseech God to amend them ! And as for these 
folk that speak against me, I never look to have their good 
word as long as I live ; yet will I speak of their wickedness, 
as long as I shall be permitted to speak. As long as I live, I 
will be an enemy to it. No preachers can pass it over with 
silence : it is the original root of all mischief. As for me, 
I owe them no other ill will, but I pray God amend them, 
when it pleaseth him ! 

Now to the parable. What did the wicked judge in the 
end of the tale? The love of God moved him not. The law 
of God was this, and it is writ in the first of Deuteronomy, 
Audite eos, " Hear them," These two words will be heavy 
words- to wicked judges another day. But some of them 
peradventure will say, I will hear such as will give bribes, 
and those that will do me good turns. Nay, ye be hedged 
out of that liberty. He saith, Ita parvum ut magnum, 
" The small as well as great." Ye must do justum, deal 
justly, minister justice, and that to all men ; and you must 
do \\. juste, in time convenient, without any delays or driving 
off, with expedition. Well, I say, neither this law, nor the 
word and commandment of God moved this wicked judge, 
nor the misery of this widow, nor the uprightness of her 
cause, nor the wrong which she took, moved him ; but, to 
avoid importunity, and clamour, and exclamation, he gave 
her the hearing, he gave her final sentence, and so she had 
her request. 

This place of judgment, it hath been ever unperfect : it 
was never seen that all judges did their duty, that they 
would hear the small as well as the great. I will not prove 
this by the witness of any private magistrate, but by the 
wisest king's saying that ever was : Vidi sub sole, saith 
Salomon, in loco justitiie impietatem, et iti loco ceqidtatis 
iniquitatem ; " I have seen under the sun," that is to say, 
over all in every place, where right judgment should have 
been, "wickedness;" as who would say, bribes-taking, defeat- 
ing of justice, oppressing of the poor ; men sent away with 
weeping tears without any hearing of their causes : and 
"in the place of equity," saith he, "I have seen iniquity." 



King Edward the Sixth 135 

No equity, no justice; a sore word for Salomon to pronounce 
universally, generally. And if Salomon said it, there is a 
matter in it. I ween he said it not only for his own time, 
but he saw it both in those that were before him, and also 
that were to come after him. Now comes Esay, and he 
affirmeth the same ; speaking of the judgments done in his 
time in the common place, as it might be in Westminster- 
hall, the Guildhall, the Judges-hall, the Pretor-house ; call it 
what you will — in the open place ; f'or judges at that time, 
according to the manner, sat in the gates of the city, in the 
highway ; a good and godly order, for to sit so that the 
poor people may easily come to them. But what saith 
Esay, that seditious fellow? He saith of his country this: 
Expectavi ut faceret judicium, et fecit iniquitatem ; " I 
looked the judges should do their duty, and I saw them 
work iniquity." There was bribes-walking, money-making, 
making of hands, quoth the prophet, or rather Almighty God 
by the prophet ; such is their partiality, affection, and bribes. 
They be such money-makers, enhancers, and promoters of 
themselves. Esay knew this by the crying of the people. 
Ecce clamor populi, saith he ; and though some among 
them be unreasonable people, as many be now-a-days, 
yet no doubt of it, some cried not without a cause. And 
why ? Their matters are not heard, they are fain to go 
home with weeping tears, that fall down by their cheeks, 
and ascend up to heaven, and cry for vengeance. Let 
judges look about them, for surely God will revenge his 
elect one day. 

And surely methink if a judge would follow but a 
worldly reason, and weigh the matter politicly, without these 
examples of scripture, he should fear more the hurt that may 
be done him by a poor widow, or a miserable man, than by 
the greatest gentlemen of them all. God hath pulled the 
judges' skins over their heads for the poor man's sake. Yea, 
the poor widow may do him more hurt with her poor Pater- 
noster in her mouth than any other weapon ; and with two 
or three words she shall bring him down to the ground, and 
destroy his jollity, and cause him to lose more in one day 
than he gat in seven years. For God will revenge these 
miserable folks that cannot help themselves. He saith. Ego 
in die visitaiionis, ^c, " In the day of visitation I will re- 
venge them." An non ulciscetur anima mea ? " Shall not 
my soul be revenged ? " As who should say, " 1 must needs 



136 Fourth Sermon preached before 

take their part." Veniens veniarn, et non tardabo ; " Yes, 
though I tarry, and though I seem to hnger never so long, 
yet I will come at the length, and that shortly." And if 
God spake this, he will perform his promise. He hath for 
their sakes, as I told you, pulled the skin over the judges' 
ears ere this. King David trusted some in his old age that 
did him no very good service. Now, if in the people of 
God there were some folks that fell to bribing, then what 
was there among the heathen ? Absolon, David's son, was 
a by-walker, and made disturbance among the people in his 
father's time 3 and though he were a wicked man, and a by- 
walker, yet some there were in that time that were good, 
and walked uprightly. I speak not this against the judge's 
seat ; I speak not as though all judges were naught, and as 
though I did not hold with the judges, magistrates, and 
officers, as the Anabaptists these false heretics do. But I 
judge them honourable, necessary, and God's ordinance. 
I speak it as scripture speaketh, to - give a caveat and a 
warning to all magistrates, to cause them to look to their 
offices. For the devil, the great magistrate, is very busy 
now ; he is ever doing, he never ceasejh to go about to make 
them like himself. The proverb is. Simile gaudet simili, 
" Like would have like." If the judge be good and up- 
right, he will assay to deceive him, either by the subtle 
suggestion of crafty lawyers, or else by false witness, and 
subtle uttering of a wrong matter. He goeth about as much 
as he can to corrupt the men of law, to make them fall to 
bribery, to lay burdens on poor men's backs, and to make 
them fall to perjury, and to bring into the place of judgment 
all corruption, iniquity, and impiety. 

I have spoken thus much, to occasion all judges and 
magistrates to look to their offices. They had need to look 
about them. This gear moved St Chrysostom to speak- 
this sentence ; Miror si aliquis rectorum potest salvari: 
" I marvel," said this doctor, " if any of these rulers or 
great magistrates can be saved." He spake it not for 
the impossibility of the thing, (God forbid that all the 
magistrates and judges should be condemned !) but for the 
difficulty. 

Oh that a man might have the contemplation of hell; 
that the devil would allow a man to look into hell, to see the 
state of it, as he shewed all the world when he tempted 
Christ in the wilderness ! Commonstrat illi omnia regna 



King Edward the Sixth 137 

mundi, " He shewed him all the kingdoms of the world,'"' 
and all their jollity, and told him that he would give him all, 
if he would kneel down and worship him. He lied like a 
false harlot : he could not give them, he was not able to give 
so much as a goose wing, for they were none of his to give. 
The other that he promised them unto, had more right to 
them than he. But I say, if one were admitted to view hell 
thus, and behold it thoroughly, the devil would say, " On 
yonder side are punished unpreaching prelates : I think a 
man should see as far as a kenning,^ and see nothing but 
unpreaching prelates. He might look as far as Calais, I 
warrant you. And then if he would go on the other side, 
and shew where that bribing judges were, I think he should 
see so many, that there were scant room for any other. 
Our Lord God amend it ! 

Well, to our matter. This judge I speak of said, 
"Though I fear neither God, nor man," &c. And did he 
think thus? Is it the manner of wicked judges to confess 
their faults ? Nay, he thought not so : and had a man come 
to him, and called him wicked, he would forthwith have com- 
manded him to ward, he would have defended himself stoutly. 
It was God that spake in his conscience. God putteth him 
to utter such things as he saw in his heart, and were hid to 
himself. And there be like things in the scripture, as, Dixit 
insipiens in corde suo, Non est Deus ; "The unwise man 
said in his heart. There is no God : " and yet, if he should 
have been asked the question, he would have denied it. 

Esay the prophet saith also, Mendacio protecti sumus ; 
" We are defended with lies ; we have put our trust in lies." 
And in another place he saith, Ambulabo in pravitate cordis 
mei ; " I will walk in the wickedness of my heart." He 
uttereth what lieth in his heart, not known to himself, 
but to God. It was not for nought that Jeremy describeth 
man's heart in his colours : Pravum cor hominis et inscruta- 
bik ; " The heart of man is naughty, a crooked and frow- 
ard piece of work." Let every man humble himself, and 
acknowledge his fault, and do as St Paul did. When the 
people to whom he had preached had said many things in 
his commendation, yet he durst not justify hiniself: Paul 
would not praise himself, to his own justification ; and there- 
fore, when they had spoken those things by him, " I pass 
not at all," saith he, " what ye say by me, I will not stand 
' A distance as far as the eye can distinguish. 



138 Fourth Sermon preached before 

to your report." And yet he was not so froward, that 
when he heard the truth reported of him, he would say- 
it to be false ; but he said, " I will neither stand to your 
report, though it be good and just, neither yet I will say 
that it is untrue." He was bonus pastor^ a good shepherd : 
he was one of them qui bene prcesunt, that discharged his 
cure ; and yet he thought that there might be a farther 
thing in himself than he saw in himself; and therefore he 
said, " The Lord shall judge me : 1 will stand only to 
the judgment of the Lord." For look, whom he judges 
to be good, he is sure ; he is safe ; he is cock-sure. I spake 
of this gear the last day, and of some I had little thank 
for my labour. I smelled some folks that were grieved 
with me for it, because I spake against temerarious judg- 
ment. "What hath he to do with judgment?" say they. 
I went about to keep you from arrogant judgment. Well ; 
I could have said more than I did, and I can say much 
more now. For why? I know more of my lord-admiral's 
death since that time, than I did know before. " Oh," 
say they, " the man died very boldly ; he would not have 
done so, had he not been in a just quarrel." This is 
no good argument, my friends : A man seemeth not to fear 
death, therefore his cause is good. This is a deceivable 
argument : He went to his death boldly, ergo, he standeth' 
in a just quarrel. The Anabaptists that were burnt here 
in divers towns in England (as I heard of credible men, I 
saw them not myself,) went to their death even intrepide, 
as ye will say, without any fear in the world, cheerfully. 
Well, let them go. There was in the old doctors' times 
another kind of poisoned heretics, that were called Dona- 
tists ; and these heretics went to their execution, as though 
they should have gone to some jolly recreation or banquet, 
to some belly-cheer, or to a play. And will ye argue 
then, He goeth to his death boldly or cheerfully, ergo, he 
dietTi in a just cause ? Nay, that sequel followeth no 
more than this : A man seems to be afraid of death, ergo, 
he dieth evil. And yet our Saviour Christ was afraid of 
death himself. 

I warn you therefore, and charge you not to judge them 
that be in authority, but to pray for them. It becometh us 
not to judge great magistrates, nor to condemn their doings, 
unless their deeds be openly and apparently wicked. Charity 
requireth the same ; for charity judgeth no man, but well of 



King Edward the Sixth 139 

everybody. And thus we may try whether we have charity 
or no ; and if we have not charity, we are not God's 
disciples, for they are known by that badge. He that 
is his disciple, hath the work of charity in his breast. It 
is a worthy saying of a clerk, Caritas si est operatur ; 
si non operatur, non est: "If there be charity, it worketh 
oitinia credere, omnia sperare, to believe all things, to hope 
all ; " to say the best of the magistrates, and not to stand to 
the defending of a wicked matter. 

I will go further with you now. If I should have said 
all that I knew, your ears would have irked to have heard 
it, and now God hath brought more to light. And as 
touching the kind of his death, whether he be saved or no, 
I refer that to God only. What God can do, I can tell. 
I will not deny, but that he may in the twinkling of an eye 
save a man, and turn his heart. What he did, I cannot tell. 
And when a man hath two strokes with an axe, who can 
tell but that between two strokes he doth repent ? It is 
very hard to judge. Well, I will not go so nigh to work ; 
but this I will say, if they ask me what I think of his death, 
that he died very dangerously, irksomely, horribly. The 
man being in the Tower wrote certain papers which I saw 
myself. There were two little ones, one to my lady Mary's 
grace, and another to my lady Elizabeth's grace, tending 
to this end, that they should conspire against my lord 
Protector's grace : surely, so seditiously as could be. Now 
what a kind of death was this, that when he was ready to 
lay his head upon the block, he turns me to the Lieutenant's 
servant, and saith, " Bid my servant speed the thing that 
he wots of?" Well, the word was overheard. His servant 
cdnfessed these two papers, and they were found in a shoe 
of his : they were sewed between the soles of a velvet shoe. 
He made his ink so craftily and with such workmanship, as 
the like hath not been seen. I was prisoner in the Tower 
myself, and I could never invent to make ink so. It is a 
wonder to hear of his subtilty. He made his pen of the 
aglet of a point, that he plucked from his hose, and thus 
wrote these letters so seditiously, as ye have heard, enforcing 
many matters against my lord Protector's grace, and so 
forth. God had left him to himself, he had clean forsaken 
him. What would he have done, if he had lived still, that 
went about this gear, when he laid his head on the block, 
at the end of his life ? Charity, they say, worketh but godly, 



140 Fourth Sermon preached before 

and not after this sort. Well ; he is gone, he knoweth his 
fate by this, he is either in joy or in pain. There is but two 
states, if we be once gone. There is no change. This is 
the speech of the scripture : Ubicunque lignum ceciderit, ibi 
erit, sive in austrum, sive in aquilonem : " Wheresoever the 
tree falleth, either into the south, or into the north, there it 
shall rest." By the falling of the tree is signified the death of 
man : if he fall into the south, he shall be saved ; for the 
south is hot, and betokeneth charity or salvation : if he 
fall in the north, in the cold of infidelity, he shall be damned. 
There are but two states, the state of salvation and the state 
of damnation. There is no repentance after this life, but if 
he die in the state of damnation, he shall rise in the same : 
yea, though he have a whole monkery to sing for him, 
he shall have his final sentence when he dieth. And that 
servant of his that confessed and uttered this gear was 
an honest man. He did honestly in it. God put it in his 
heart. And as for the other, whether he be saved, or no, I 
leave it to God. But surely he was a wicked man : the 
realm is well rid of him : it hath a treasure that he is gone. 
He knoweth his fare by this. A terrible example, surely, 
and to be noted of every man. Now before he should die, 
I heard say, he had commendations to the king, and spake 
many words of his majesty. All is, ' The King, the King.' 
Yea, bona verba. These were fair words, ' The King, the 
King.' I was travailed in the Tower myself, (with the king's 
commandment and the council,) and there was Sir Robert 
Constable, the lord Hussey, the lord Darcy : and the 
lord Darcy was telling me of the faithful service that he 
had done the king's majesty that dead is. " And I had seen 
my sovereign lord in the field," said he, " and I had seen his 
grace come against us, I would have lighted from my horse, 
and taken my sword by the point, and yielded it into his 
grace's hands." " Marry," quoth I, " but in the mean season 
ye played not the part of a faithful subject, in holding with 
the people in a commotion and a disturbance." It hath been 
the cast of all traitors to pretend nothing against the king's 
person ; they never pretend the matter to the king, but to 
other. Subjects may not resist any magistrates, nor ought 
to do nothing contrary to the king's laws ; and therefore 
these words, " The King," and so forth, are of small effect. 

I heard once a tale of a thing that was done at Oxford 
twenty years ago, and the like hath been since in this realm, 



King Edward the Sixth 141 

as I was informed of credible persons, and some of them that 
saw it be ahve yet. There was a priest that was robbed of 
a great sum of money, and there were two or three attached 
for the same robbery ; and, to be brief, were condemned, and 
brought to the place of execution. The first man, when he 
was upon the ladder, denied the matter utterly, and took his 
death upon it, that he never consented to the robbery of the 
priest, nor never knew of it. When he was dead, the second 
fellow Cometh, and maketh his protestation, and acknowledged 
the fault; saying, that among other grievous offences that 
he had done, he was accessary to this robbery : and, saith 
he, " I had my part of it, I cry God mercy : so had this 
fellow that died before me his part." Now who can judge 
whether this fellow died well or no ? Who can judge a man's 
heart? The one denied the matter, and the other confessed 
it : there is no judging of such matters. 

I have heard much wickedness of this man, and I 
thought oft, Jesu, what will worth, what will be the end of 
this man ? When I was with the bishop of Chichester in 
ward, (I was not so with him but my friends might come to 
me, and talk with me,) I was desirous to hear of execution 
done, as there was every week some, in one place of the city 
or other; for there was three weeks' sessions at Newgate, 
and fortnight sessions at the Marshalsea, and so forth : 1 was 
desirous, 1 say, to hear of execution, because I looked that 
my part should have been therein. I looked every day 
to be called to it myself. Among all other, I heard of a 
wanton woman, a naughty liver. A whore, a vain body, was 
led from Newgate to the place of execution for a certain 
robbery that she had committed, and she had a wicked com- 
munication by the way. Here I will take occasion to move 
your grace, that such men as shall be put to death may 
have learned men to give 'them instruction and exhortation. 
For the reverence of God, when they be put to execution, 
let them have instructors ; for many of them are cast away 
for lack of instruction, and die miserably for lack of good 
preaching. This woman, I say, as she went by the way, 
had wanton and foolish talk, as this : " that if good fellows had 
kept touch with her, she had not been at this time in that 
case." And amongst all other talk she said that such an 
one (and named this man) had first misled her : and, hearing 
this of him at that time, I looked ever what would be his 
end, what would become of him. He was a man the farthest 



142 Fourth Sermon preached before 

from the fear of God that ever I knew or heard of in Eng- 
land. First, he was the author of all this woman's whoredom ; 
for if he had not led her wrong, she might have been married 
and become an honest woman, whereas now being naught 
with him, she fell afterwards by that occasion to other : ^^u 
they that were naught with her fell to robbery, and she fol- 
lowed ; and thus was he the author of all this. This gear 
came by sequel. Peradventure this may seem to be a light 
matter, but surely it is a great matter ; and he by unrepent- 
ance fell from evil to worse, and from worse to worst of all, 
till at the length he was made a spectacle to all the world. 
I have heard say he was of the opinion that he believed 
not the immortality of the soul ; that he was not right in 
this matter : and it might well appear by the taking of 
his death. But ye will say, " What ! ye slander ; ye break 
charity." Nay, it is charity that I do. We can have no 
better use of him now than to warn other to beware of 
him. Christ saith, Memores estate uxoris Loth; " Remember 
Loth's wife." She was a woman that would not be content 
with her good state, but wrestled with God's calling, and 
she was for that cause turned into a salt stone ; and there- 
fore the scripture doth name her as an example for us 
to take heed by. Ye shall see also in the second chapter, 
how that God Almighty spared not a number of his angels, 
which had sinned against him, to make them examples to us 
to beware by. He drowned the whole world in the time of 
Noah, and destroyed for sin the cities of Sodom and Gomor. 
And why? Fecit eos exemplum Us qui iinpii fore7it acturi ; 
" He made them an example to them that would do wickedly 
in time to come." If God would not spare them, think ye 
he will favour us ? 

I will go on a word or two in the application of the 
parable, and then I will make an end. To what end and 
to what purpose brought Christ this parable of the wicked 
judge ? The end is, that we should be continually in prayer. 
Prayer is never interrupted but by wickedness. We must 
therefore walk orderly, uprightly, calling upon God in all 
our troubles and adversities ; and for this purpose there is 
not a more comfortable lesson -n all the scripture, than here 
now in the lapping up of the matter. Therefore I will open 
it unto you. You miserable people, if there be any here 
amongst you, that are oppressed with great men, and can 
get no help, I speak for your comfort ; I will open unto you 



King Edward the Sixth 143 

whither ye shall resort, when ye be in any distress. His 
good-will is ready, always at hand, whensoever we shall call 
for it ; and therefore he calls us to himself. We shall not 
doubt if we come to him. Mark what he saith, to cause us 
that we believe that our prayers shall be heard : et Deus non 
faciei vi?idictam ? He reasons after this fashion : " Will not 
God," saith he, " revenge his elect, and hear them;" seeing the 
wicked judge heard the widow ? He seemeth to go plainly 
to work : he willeth us to pray to God, and to none but to 
God. We have a manner of reasoning in the schools, and it 
is called, a mitiore ad majiis, " from the less to the more," 
and that may be used here. The judge was a tyrant, a 
wicked man. God is a patron, a defender, father unto us. 
If the judge then, being a tyrant, would hear the poor widow, 
much more God will hear us in all distresses : he being a 
father unto us, he will hear us, sooner than the other, being 
no father, having no fatherly affection. Moreover, God is 
naturally merciful. The judge was cruel, and yet he helped 
the widow ; much more then will God help us at our need. 
He saith by the oppressed, Cum ipso sum in tribulatione, 
" I am with him in his trouble : " his tribulation is mine ; 
I am touched with his trouble. If the judge then, being a 
cruel man, heard the widow ; much more God will help us, 
being touched with our affliction. 

Furthermore, this judge gave the widow no command- 
ment to come to him : we have a commandment to resort to 
God ; for he saith, Invoca me in die tribulationis, " Call 
upon me in the day of thy tribulations : " which is as well 
a commandment as, Non furaberis, " Thou shalt not steal." 
He that spake the one spake the other ; and whatsoever he 
be that is in trouble, and calleth not upon God, breaketh his 
commandment. Take heed therefore : the judge did not 
promise the widow help ; God promiseth us help, and will 
he not perform it ? He will, he will. The judge, I say, did 
not promise the widow help ; God will give us both hearing 
and helping. He hath promised it us with a double oath : 
Amen, Amen, saith he, " Verily, verily," (he doubles it,) 
QucBCunque petieritis, e^<f., " Whatsoever ye shall ask in my 
name, ye shall have it.'-' And though he put off some sinner 
for a time, and suffer him to bite on the bridle to prove him, 
(for there be many beginners, but few continuers in prayer,) 
yet we may not think that he hath forgotten us, and will not 
help us : Veniens veniet, non tardabit, " When the help is 



144 Fourth Sermon preached before 

most needful, then he will come, and not tarry." He know- 
eth when it shall be best for us to have help : though he 
tarry, he will come at the last. 

I will trouble you but half a quarter of an hour in the 
application of the parable, and so commit you to God. 

What should it mean, that God would have us so diligent 
and earnest in prayer ? Hath he such pleasure in our works ? 
Many talk of prayer, and make it a lip-labouring. Praying 
is not babbling ; nor praying is not monkery. It is, to 
miserable folk that are oppressed, a comfort, solace and a 
remedy. But what maketh our prayer to be acceptable 
to God ? It lieth not in our power ; we must have it by 
another mean. Remember what God said of his Son : Hie 
est Filius meus diledus, in quo mihi bene complacui ; "This 
is my dear Son, in whom I delight." He hath pleasure in 
nothing but in him. How cometh it to pass that our prayer 
pleaseth God? Our prayer pleaseth God, because Christ 
pleaseth God. When we pray, we come unto him in the 
confidence of Christ's merits, and thus offering up our 
prayers, they shall be heard for Christ's sake. Yea, Christ 
will offer them up for us, that offered up once his sacrifice to 
God, which was acceptable ; and he that cometh with any 
other mean than this, God knoweth him not. 

This is not the missal sacrifice, the popish sacrifice, to 
stand at the altar, and offer up Christ again. Out upon it 
that ever it was used ! I will not say nay, but that ye shall 
find in the old doctors this word sacrificiuin ; but there is 
one general solution for all the doctors that St Augustine 
sheweth us : " The sign of a thing hath oftentimes the 
name of the thing that it signifieth." As the supper of the 
Lord is the sacrament of another thing, it is a commemora- 
tion of his death, which suffered once for us ; and because 
it is a sign of Christ's offering up, therefore he bears the 
name thereof. And this sacrifice a woman can offer as well 
as a man ; yea, a poor woman in the belfry hath as good 
authority to offer up this sacrifice, as hath the bishop in his 
pontificalibus, with his mitre on his head, his rings on his 
fingers, and sandals on his feet. And whosoever cometh 
asking the Father remedy in his necessity for Christ's sake, 
he offereth up as acceptable a sacrifice as any bishop can do. 

And so, to make an end : this must be done with a 
constant faith and a sure confidence in Christ. Faith, faith, 
faith ; we are undone for lack of faith. Christ nameth faith 



King Edward the Sixth 145 

here, faith is all together : " When the Son of man shall 
come, shall he find faith on the earth ? " Why speaketh he 
so much of faith ? Because it is hard to find a true faith. 
He speaketh not of a political faith, a faith set up for a 
time ; but a constant, a permanent, a durable faith, as durable 
as God's word. 

He came many times : first in the time of Noe when he 
preached, but he found little faith. He came also when Lot 
preached, when he destroyed Sodome and Gomora, but he 
found no faith. And to be short, he shall come at the latter 
day, but he shall find a little faith. And I ween the day be 
not far off. When he was here carnally, did he find any 
faith ? Many speak of faith, but few there be that hath it. 
Christ mourneth the lack of it : he complaineth that when 
he came, he found no faith. 

This Faith is a great state, a lady, a duchess, a great 
woman ; and she hath ever a great company and train about 
her, as a noble estate ought to have. First, she hath a 
gentleman-usher that goeth before her, and where he is not 
there is not lady Faith. This gentleman-usher is called 
Agnitio peccatorum, knowledge of sin ; when we enter into 
our heart, and acknowledge our faults, and stand not about 
to defend them. He is none of these winkers ; he kicks not 
when he hears his fault. Now, as the gentleman-usher goeth 
before her, so she hath a train that cometh behind her ; and 
yet, though they come behind, they be all of Faith's com- 
pany, they are all with her : as Christ, when he counter- 
feited a state going to Jerusalem, some went before him, and 
some after, yet all were of his company. So all these wait 
upon Faith, she hath a great train after her, besides her 
gentleman-usher, her whole household ; and those be the 
works of our vocation, when every man considereth what 
vocation he is in, what calling he is in, and doth the works 
of the same ; as, to be good to his neighbour, to obey God, 
&c. This is the train that foUoweth lady Faith : as for an 
example; a faithful judge hath first an heavy reckoning of 
his fault, repenting himself of his wickedness, and then for- 
saketh his iniquity, his impiety, feareth no man, walks up- 
right ; and he that doth not thus hath not lady Faith, but 
rather a boldness of sin and abusing of Christ's passion. 
Lady Faith is never without her gentleman-usher, nor with- 
out her train : she is no anchoress, she dwells not alone, she 
is never a private woman, she is never alone. And yet 



146 Fourth Sermon preached before 

many there be that boast themselves that they have faith, 
and that when Christ shall come they shall do well enough. 
Nay, nay, those that be faithful shall be so few, that Christ 
shall scarce see them. " Many there be that runneth," saith 
St Paul, " but there is but one that receiveth the reward." It 
shall be with the multitude, when Christ shall come, as it 
was in the time of Noe, and as it was in the time of Lot. 
In the time of Noe, " they were eating and drinking, build- 
ing and planting, and suddenly the water came upon them, 
and drowned them." In the time of Lot also, " they were 
eating and drinking, &c., and suddenly the fire came upon 
them, and devoured them." And now we are eating and 
drinking : there was never such building then as is now, 
planting, nor marrying. And thus it shall be, even when 
Christ shall come at judgment. 

Is eating, and drinking, and marrying, reproved in scrip- 
ture ? Is it not ? Nay, he reproveth not all kind of eating 
and drinking, he must be otherwise understanded. If the 
scripture be not truly expounded, what is more erroneous ? 
And though there be complainings of some eating and drink- 
ing in the scripture, yet he speaketh not as though all were 
naught. They may be well ordered, they are God's allow- 
ance : but to eat and drink as they did in Noe's time, and 
as they did in Loth's time, this eating, and drinking, and 
marrying, is spoken against. To eat and drink in the forget- 
fulness of God's commandment, voluptuously, in excess and 
gluttony, this kind of eating and drinking is naught ; when 
it is not done moderately, soberly, and with all circumspec- 
tion. And likewise to marry for fleshly lust, and for their 
own phantasy. There was never such marrying in England 
as is now, I hear tell of stealing of wards to marry their 
children to. This is a strange kind of stealing : but it is not 
the wards, it is the lands that they steal. And some there 
be that knit up marriages together, not for any love or 
godliness in the parties, but to get friendship, and make them 
strong in the realm, to increase their possessions, and to join 
land to land. And other there be that inveigle men's 
daughters, in the contempt of their fathers, and go about to 
marry them without their consent : this marrying is ungodly. 
And many parents constrain their sons and daughters to 
marry where they love not, and some are beaten and com- 
pulsed. And they that marry thus, marry in a forgetfulness 
and obliviousness of God's commandments. But as in the 



King Edward the Sixth 147 

time of Noe suddenly a clap fell in their bosoms ; so it 
shall be with us at the latter day, when Christ shall come. 
We have as little conscience as may be ; and when he shall 
come, he shall lack lady Faith. Well is them that shall be 
of that little flock, that shall be set on the right hand, &c. 

I have troubled you long, partly being out of my matter, 
partly being in ; but now I will make an end. I began with 
this text, Qucscunque scripta sunt, &c. ; so I will end now 
for mine own ease, as an old truant, with this sentence, 
Beati qui audiufit verbum Dei, &c., " Blessed are they that 
hear the word of God, and keep it." I told you in the 
beginning of this parable of bene : JVi7 melius quam Icetari 
et facer e. If I had ceased there, all had been well, quoth 
the merry monk. So, " Blessed are they that hear the word 
of God ; " but what followeth? " and keep it." Our blessed- 
ness Cometh of the keeping. It hangs all on the end of the 
tale, in crediting and assenting to the word, and following of 
it. And thus we shall begin our blessedness here, and at 
length we shall come to the blessing that never shall have 
end ; which God grant both you and me. Amen. 



SERMONS PREACHED BEFORE KING 
EDWARD THE SIXTH 

The Fifth Sermon preached before King Edward^ 
April I, 1549. 

Qucecunque scripta sunt, adnostram doctrinam scriptasunt. — Rom. xv. 4, 
All things that are written, they are written to be our doctrine. 

What doctrine is written for us in the parable of the 
judge and the widow, I have opened it to you, most honour- 
able audience. Something as concerning the judge, I would 
wish and pray that it might be a little better kept in memory, 
that in the seat of justice no more iniquity and unrighteous- 
ness might reign. Better a little well kept, than a great 
deal forgotten. I would the judges would take forth their 
lesson, that there might be no more iniquity used, nor bribe- 
taking ; for if there shall be bribing, they know the peril 
of it, they know what shall follow. I would also they should 
take an example of this judge, that did say, not that that he 
thought himself, but our Saviour Christ puts him to say that 
thing that was hid unto himself. Wherefore I would ye 
should keep in memory, how unsearchable a man's heart is. 
I would ye should remember the fall of the angels, and be- 
ware thereby ; the fall of the old world, and beware thereby ; 
the fall of Sodome and Gomora, and beware thereby; the 
fall of Loth's wife, and beware thereby ; the fall of the man 
that suffered of late, and beware thereby. 

I would not that miserable folk should forget the argu- 
ment of the wicked judge, to induce them to prayer ; which 
argument is this : If the judge, being a tyrant, a cruel man, 
a wicked man, which did not call her to him, made her no 
promise, nor in hearing nor helping of her cause, yet in the 
end of the matter, for the importunity's sake, did help her ; 
much more Almighty God, which is a father, who beareth a 
fatherly affection, as the father doth to the child, and is 

148 



Fifth Sermon 149 

naturally merciful, and calleth us to him, with his promise 
that he will hear them that call upon him, that be in distress, 
and burdened with adversity. Remember this. You know 
where to have your remedy. You by your prayer can work 
great efficacy, and your prayer with tears is an instrument 
of great efficacy : it can bring many things to pass. 

But what thing is that that maketh our prayer accept- 
able to God? Is it our babbling? No, no; it is not our 
babbling, nor our long prayer ; there is another thing than it. 
The dignity and worthiness of our words is of no such virtue. 
For whosoever resorteth unto God, not in the confidence of 
his own merits, but in the sure trust of the deserving of our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, and in his passion ; whosoever doth 
invocate the Father of heaven in the trust of Christ's merits, 
which offering is the most comfortable and acceptable offering 
to the Father ; whosoever, I say, offereth up Christ, which is 
a perfect offering, he cannot be denied the thing he desireth, 
so that it be expedient for him to have it. It is not the 
babbling of our lips, nor dignity of our words, but the 
prayer of the heart is the offering that pleaseth, through 
the only means of his Son. For our prayer profiteth us, 
because we offer Christ to his Father. Whosoever resorteth 
to God without Christ, he resorteth in vain. Our prayer 
pleaseth because of Jesus Christ, whom we offer. So that 
it is faith, faith, faith is the matter. It is no prayer that is 
without faith, it is but a lip-labouring and mockery, without 
faith ; it is but a little babbling. 

I spake also of lack of faith ; and upon that also I said. 
The end of the world is near at hand ; for there is lack of faiih 
now ; also the defection is come, and swerving from the faith. 
Antichrist, the man of sin, the son of iniquity, is revealed ; the 
latter day is at hand. Let us not think his coming is far off. 
But whensoever he cometh, he shall find iniquity enough, let 
him come when he will. What is novv behind ? We be eating 
and drinking as they were in Noe's time ; and marrying, I 
think as wickedly as ever was. We be building, purchasing, 
planting, in the contempt of God's word. He may come 
shortly, when he will, for there is so much mischief, and 
swerving from the faith, reigning now in our days, as ever 
was in any age. It is a good warning to us all, to make 
ready agamst his coming. 

This little rehearsal I have made of the things I spake 
in my last sermon. I will now for this day return to my 



150 Fifth Sermon preached before 

question, and dissolve it, whether God's people may be 
governed by a governor that beareth the name of a king, or 
no? The Jews had a law, that when they should have a 
king, they should have him according to the election of God : 
he would not leave the election of a king to their own brains. 
There be some busy brains, wanton wits, that say, the name 
of a king is an odious name ; and wrest this text of the scrip- 
ture, where God seemeth to be angry and displeased with 
the Israelites for asking a king; expounding it very evil and 
odiously : as who would say, a king were an odious thing. 
I coming riding in my way, and calling to remembrance 
wherefore I was sent, that I must preach, and preach before 
the king's majesty, I thought it meet to frame my preaching 
according to a king. Musing of this, I remembered of myself 
a book that came from cardinal Pole, master Pole, the king's 
traitor, which he sent to the king's majesty. I never re- 
member that man, methink, but I remember him with a 
heavy heart : a witty man, a learned man, a man of a noble 
house ; so in favour, that if he had tarried in the realm, and 
would have conformed himself to the king's proceedings, I 
heard say, and I believe it verily, that he had been bishop of 
York at this day. To be bidden by, he would have done 
much good in that part of the realm ; for those quarters have 
always had great need of a learned man and a preaching 
prelate. A thing to be much lamented, that such a man 
should take such a way. I hear say, he readeth much St 
Hierome's works, and is well seen in them ; but I would he 
would follow St Hierome, where he expoundeth this place of 
scripture, " Exite de ilia, populus meus:" Almighty God 
saith, "Get you from it, get you from Rome ; " he calleth it 
the purple whore of Babylon. It had been more commendable 
to go from it, than to come to it. What his sayings be in 
his book, I do not well remember ; it is in the farthest end of 
my memory. He declareth himself in it to have a corrupt 
judgment. I have but a glimmering of it, yet in general I 
remember the scope of it. He goeth about to dissuade the 
king from his supremacy. In his persuasions he is very 
homely, very quick, and sharp with the king, as these 
cardinals will take well upon them. He saith, that a king 
is an odious word, and toucheth the place how God was 
offended with the Israelites for calling for a king. Very 
lightly he seemeth to set forth the title of a king; as 
though he should mean : What is a king ? What should a 



King Edward the Sixth 151 

king take upon him to redress matters of religion ? It per- 
taineth to our holy father of Rome. A king is a name and a 
title rather suffered of God as an evil thing, than allowed as a 
good thing. Calling this to remembrance, it was an occasion 
that I spake altogether before. Now I will answer to this. 
For the answer I must somewhat rip the eighth chapter of the 
first book of the Kings. And that I may have grace, &c. 

To come to the opening of this matter, I must begin at 
the beginning of the chapter ; that the unlearned, although I 
am sure here be a great many well learned, may the better 
come to the understanding of the matter : Factum est cum 
senuisset Samuel, fecit filios suos judices populo, " It came 
to pass when Samuel was stricken in age, he made his sons 
judges over Israel." Of Samuel I might fetch a process afar 
off, of the story of Elcana, who was his father, and who was 
his mother. Elcana, his father, had two wives, Anna and 
Phenenna, and did not put them away as men do now-a-days. 
There was debate between these two wives. Phenenna, in 
the doing of sacrifice, embraided Anna because she was bar- 
ren and not fruitful. I might take here occasion to entreat 
of the duty between man and wife, which is a holy religion, 
but not religiously kept. But I will not enter into that mat- 
ter at this time. Well, in process of time God made Anna 
fruitful through her devout prayer : she brought forth Samuel, 
who by the ordinance of God was made the high priest : 
father Samuel, a good man, a singular example, and singular 
pattern, a man alone, few such men as father Samuel was. 
To be short, he was now come to age, he was an old man, 
an impotent man, not able to go from place to place to minis- 
ter justice ; he elected and chose two suffragans, two coad- 
jutors, two co-helpers. I mean not hallowers of bells, nor 
christeners of bells ; that is a popish suffraganship. He made 
them to help him to discharge his office : he chose his two 
sons rather than other, because he knew them to be well 
brought up in virtue and learning. It was not for any carnal 
affection ; he cared not for his renown or revenues, but he 
appointed them for the ease of the people, the one for to 
supply his place in Bethsabe, and the other in Bethlem ; 
as we have now in England, for the wealth of the realm, 
we have two lords presidents. Surely it is well done, and 
a goodly order : I would there were a third in another place. 
For the ease of his people, good father Samuel, and to dis- 
charge his offices in places where he could not come himself, 



152 Fifth Sermon preached before 

he set his two sons in office with him as his suffragans and 
as his coadjutors. Here I might take occasion to treat, what 
old and impotent bishops should do, what old preachers should 
do, when they come to impotency, to join with them preach- 
ers, (preachers, not bell-hallowers,) and to depart part of their 
living with them. I might have dilated this matter at large ; 
but I am honestly prevented of this common-place, and I am 
very glad of it : it was very well handled the last Sunday. 
They that will not for the ofifice sake receive other, regard 
more the fleece than the flock. Father Samuel regarded not 
his revenues. Our Lord give them grace to be affected as 
he was, and to follow him, &c. ! 

Though 1 say that I would wish more lords presidents, 
I mean not, that I would have prelates lords presidents ; nor 
that lords bishops should be lords presidents. As touching 
that, I said my mind and conscience the last year. And al- 
though it is said, prcesunt, it is not meant that they should be 
lords presidents. The office of a presidentship is a civil office, 
and it cannot be that one man shall discharge both well. 

It followeth in the text, Non ambulaverunt filii ejus 
in viis ejus, " His sons walked not in his ways." Here is the 
matter, hfere ye see the goodness of Samuel, how when he 
was not able to take the pains himself, for their own ease, 
he appointed them judges near unto them, as it were in the 
further parts of his realm, to have justice rightly ministered. 
But what followed ? Though Samuel were good, and his 
children well brought up, look what the world can do ! 
Ah, crafty world ! whom shall not this world corrupt and 
deceive at one time or other ? Samuel thought his sons 
should have proved well, but yet Samuel's sons walked not 
in their father's way. Why ? What then ? Is the son 
always bound to walk in the father's way ? No, ye must 
not take it for a general rule. All sons are not to be blamed 
for not walking in their father's ways. Ezekias did not fol- 
low the steps of his father Ahaz, and was well allowed in it. 
Josias, the best king that ever was in Jewry, reformed his 
father's ways, who walked in worldly policy. In his youth 
he took away all idolatry, and purged his realm of it, and 
set a good order in all his dominions, and wrestled with 
idolatry. And although his father or his grandfather Ma- 
nassas (it makes no matter whether) repented in the end, 
he had no time to reform things, he left it to his son to be 
done. Josias began, and made an alteration in his childhood ; 



King Edward the Sixth 153 

he turned all upside-down, he would suffer no idolatry to 
stand. Therefore you must not take it for a general rule, 
that the son must ever walk in his father's ways. Here I 
will renew that which I said before of the stiff-necked Jews, 
the rebellious people, that is their title ; they never spake so 
rebelliously as to say they would not receive any alteration 
till their king came to age. Much less we Englishmen, if 
there be any such in England, may be ashamed. I wonder 
with what conscience folk can hear such things, and allow it. 
This Josias made a notable alteration ; and therefore take 
it not for a general rule, that the son shall always walk in 
his father's ways. Think not because he was slain in battle, 
that God was displeased with him : for herein God shewed 
his goodness to him wonderfully ; who would not suffer him 
to see the captivity that he would bring upon the Israelites. 
He would not have him to have the sight, the feeling, and 
the beholding of his plague ; he suffered him to be taken 
away before, and to be slain of the king of Egypt. Where- 
fore a just man must be glad when he is taken from misery : 
Justus si morte prceoccupatus fuerit in refrigerio erit ; "If 
a just man be prevented with death, it shall be to his reUef : " 
he must think that he is one of those whom the world is 
not worthy to have. It came of a singular goodness of God, 
that he was by death delivered from the sight of that captivity. 
Therefore take it not for a general rule, that the son be 
always bound to walk in the father's ways : Nolite in 
prcBceptis patrum vestrorum incedere, " Walk not in the 
commandments of your fathers ; " for so it is said in another 
place of scripture. It is spoken to the reproach of Samuel's 
sons, that they walked not in his way, for he was a good 
man : a wonderful thing that these children, being so well 
brought up, should so fall and be corrupt. If the devil can 
prevail and hath power against them that had so godly 
education, what vantage hath he at them that be brought 
up in iniquity and covetousness ? It is a proverb, that 
Magistratus virum commonstrat, " Office and authority sheweth 
what a man is." A man knoweth not himself till he be 
tried. Many there be that being without office can rebuke 
magistrates, and find fault with men that be in office and 
pre-eminence : after, when it cometh to their chance to come 
to office themselves, then they have taken out a new lesson ; 
Cum essem parvulus sapiebam ut parvulus, " When I was 
a child I savoured as a child." They will do then as 



154 Fifth Sermon preached before 

other men do ; they are come to have experience, to be 
practitioners. The maid's child is ever best taught : for he 
that standeth upright in office, he is the fellow. Samuel 
would never have thought that his sons should have been so 
corrupted. It is a perilous thing, a dangerous state to be a 
judge. They felt the smack of this world, a perilous thing : 
and therefore Chrysostom saith, Miror si aliqids redorum 
salvabitur ; "I marvel," saith he, "that any ruler can be 
saved." If the peril were well considered, men would not be 
so desirous as they be. The world, the world hath many 
subtle sleights : it is a crafty thing, and very deceitful, a 
coi-rupter ; and who is it whom the world doth not corrupt 
and blind at one time or other? What was the way they 
walked ? Declinaveru7it post avaritiajn, that is one : they 
stooped after gains, turned aside after lucre. What followed } 
Acceperutit munera, they took rewards, gifts ; bribes I should 
call them, for that is their right name. Perverterunt judicium, 
they turned justice upside down. Either they would give 
wrong judgment, or else put off and delay poor men's matters. 
These were their ways, here is the devil's genealogy ; a 
gradation of the devil's making : this is scala ififerni, the 
ladder of hell. 

I told you before of scala cceH, the ladder of heaven ; I 
would you should not forget it. The steps thereof are set 
forth in the tenth to the Romans. The first is preaching, 
then hearing, then believing, and last of all salvation. Scala 
cceli is a preaching matter, I tell you, and not a massing 
matter. God's instrument of salvation is preaching. Here 
I move you, my lords, not to be greedy and outrageous in 
enhancing and raising of your rents to the minishing of the 
office of salvation. It would pity a man's heart to hear that 
that I hear of the state of Cambridge ; what it is in Oxford, 
I cannot tell. There be few do study divinity, but so many 
as of necessity must furnish the colleges ; for their livings be 
so small, and victuals so dear, that they tarry not there, but 
go other where to seek livings ; and so they go about. Now 
there be a few gentlemen, and they study a little divinity. 
Alas ! what is that ? It will come to pass that we shall have 
nothing but a little Enghsh divinity, that will bring the realm 
into a very barbarousness and utter decay of learning. It 
is not that, I wis, that will keep out the supremacy of the 
bishop of Rome. 

Here I will make a supplication, that ye would bestow so 



King Edward the Sixth 155 

much to the finding of scholars of good wits, of poor men's 
sons, to exercise the office of salvation, in relieving of scholars, 
as ye were wont to bestow in pilgrimage-matters, in trentals, 
in masses, in pardons, in purgatory-matters. Ye bestowed 
that liberally, bountifully ; but this was not well spent. You 
had a zeal, but not secundum scientiam, " not according to 
knowledge." You may be sure, if you bestow your goods on 
this wise, ye shall bestow it well, to support and uphold God's 
word, wherein ye shall please God. I require no more but 
that ye bestow so much godly as ye were wont to bestow 
ungodly. It is a reasonable petition ; for God's sake look 
upon it. I say no more. There be none now but great 
men's sons in colleges, and their fathers look not to have 
them preachers ; so every way this office of preaching is 
pinched at. I will speak no more of scala coeli. But I am 
sure this is scala inferfii, the right way to hell, to be covet- 
ous, to take bribes, and pervert justice. If a judge should 
ask me the way to hell, I would shew him this way : first, 
let him be a covetous man, let his heart be poisoned with 
covetousness ; then let him go a little further and take 
bribes ; and last, pervert judgment. Lo, here is the mother 
and the daughter, and the daughter's daughter. Avarice is 
the mother, she brings forth bribe-taking, and bribe-taking 
perverting of judgment. There lacks a fourth thing to make 
up the mess, which, (so God help me !) if I were judge, should 
be hangum tuum, a Tyburn tippet to take with him, and it 
were the judge of the king's bench, my lord chief judge of 
England ; yea, and it were my lord chancellor himself, to 
Tyburn with him. There was within these thirty years a certain 
widow, which suddenly was attached, had to prison, indicted, 
condemned, and there were certain learned men that visited 
her in the prison. Oh, I would ye would resort to prisons ! 
A commendable thing in a christian realm : I would wish there 
were curates for prisons, that we might say, the curate of 
Newgate, the curate of the Fleet, and I would have them 
waged for their labour. It is a holiday work to visit the 
prisoners, for they be kept from sermons. There was that 
resorted to this woman, who when she came to prison, was 
all on her beads, and nothing else, a popish woman, and 
savoured not of Jesu Christ. In process she was so applied, 
that she tasted quajn suavis est Dominus ; she had such a 
savour, such a sweetness and feeling, that she thought it long 
to the day of execution. She was with Christ already, as 



156 Fifth Sermon preached before 

touching faith ; she had such a desire that she said with 
St Paul, Cupio dissolvi et esse cum Christo, "I desire to be 
rid, and to be with Christ." The word of God had so 
wrought in her. When she was brought to punishment, she 
desired to confess her fault : she took of her death, that she 
was guiltless in that thing she suffered for, and her neighbours 
would have borne her witness in the same. She was always 
an honest civil woman ; her neighbours would have gone 
on her purgation a great way. They would heeds have her 
confess. "Then," saith she, "I am not guilty. Would ye 
have me make me guilty where I am not?" Yet for all this 
she was a trepasser, she had done a great offence. But before 
I go forward with this, 1 must first tell you a tale. I heard 
a good while ago a tale of one (I saw the man that told me 
the tale not long ago) in this auditory. He hath travelled in 
more countries than one. He told me that there was once 
a praetor in Rome, lord mayor of Rome, a rich man, one of 
the richest merchants in all the city, and suddenly he was 
cast in the castle Angel. It was heard of, and every man 
whispered in another's ear, " What hath he done ? Hath 
he killed any man ? " " No." " Hath he meddled with alum, 
our holy father's merchandise ? " " No." " Hath he coun- 
terfeited our holy father's bulls ? " " No." For these were 
high treasons. One rounded another in the ear, and said, 
Erat dives, " He was a rich man : " a great fault. Here was 
a goodly prey for that holy father. It was in pope Juhus's 
time ; he was a great warrior. This prey would help him to 
maintain his wars ; a jolly prey for our holy father. So this 
woman was dives : she was a rich woman, she had her lands 
by the sheriffs nose. He was a gentleman of a long nose. 
Such a cup, such a cover ! She would not depart from her 
own. This sheriff was a covetous man, a worldly man. The 
judge, at the impanelling of the quest, had his grave looks, 
and charged them with this : " It was the king's matter, look 
well upon it." When it makes for their purpose, they have 
" The King, the King," in their mouths. Well, somewhat there 
was, there was walking of angels between them. I would 
wish that of such a judge in England now we might have the 
skin hanged up. It were a goodly sign, the sign of the 
judge's skin. It should be Lot's wife to all judges that 
should follow after. 

By this ye may perceive it is possible for a man to 
answer for himself, and be arraigned at the bar, and never- 



King Edward the Sixth 157 

theless to have wrong : yea, ye shall have it in form of 
law, and yet have wrong too. So it is possible, in a case, 
for a man that hath in his absence attaintment, to have right 
and no wrong. I will not say nay but it is a good law for 
a man to answer for himself: this is reasonable, allowable, 
and good. And yet such an urgent cause may be, such 
a respect to a commonwealth, that a man may rightly be 
condemned in his absence. There be such causes that a 
man may in his absence be condemned, but not oft, except 
they be such cases that the reason of the general law may 
be kept. I am provoked of some to condemn this law, 
but I am not able, so it be but for a time, and upon 
weighty considerations ; so that it be used rarely, seldomly : 
for avoiding disturbance in the commonwealth, such an 
epiky ^ and moderation may be used in it. And nevertheless 
it is very meet and requisite that a man should answer for 
himself. We must consider the ground of the law : for 
Ratio legis anitna legis, " The reason of the law is the 
soul of the law." Why ? What is the reason and end of 
the law? It is this, that no man should be injured. A 
man may in his attaintment have no more wrong done 
him than if he answered for himself. Ah ! then I am not 
able to say, that in no wise an arraignment may be turned 
into attaintment. ■ A man may have wrong, and that in 
open judgment and in form of law, and yet allowed to 
answer for himself; and even so is possible he may have 
right, though he never answer for himself. I will not say 
but that the parliament-houses, both high and low, may err, 
and yet they may do well, and christian subjects must take 
all things to the best, and expound their doings well, although 
they cannot yield a reason for it, except their proceedings be 
manifestly wicked. For though they cannot attain to see for 
what purpose things be done, it is no good reason that they 
be called evil done therefore. And is this a good argument, 
" He is not allowed to answer for himself in this place or 
that place, where he will appoint ; ergo, he is not allowed 

' (^ivieUeia) "Is that parte of justice called in Latine (squum 
and bonum : in English there is not any one word founden therefor ; 
but that therby may be understand that equitee which omitteth 
parte of the rigour or extremitee of a law that is written, or con- 
formeth justice to the occasion newly happened, which was not 
remembred of the makers of the lawe ; applying it to the thing 
whereof leaste detriment may seeme to ensue." Bibliothec. Eliotae, 
sub voc. Epiicia or Epiices. 



158 Fifth Sermon preached before 

to answer for himself?" No: he might have answered the 
best he could for himself before a great many, and have 
had more too if he had required them : yea, and was com- 
manded upon his allegiance to speak for himself and to 
make answer ; but he would not. Needs he would come out 
to judgment, and appoint the place himself. A man that 
answers for himself at the bar is not allowed his man of 
law to answer for him, but he must answer himself. Yet 
in the parliament, although he were not there himself, any 
friend he had had liberty to answer for him, frank and free. 
I know of the old manner : the tenor of the writs is this, — 
every man to speak the best he knoweth of his conscience, 
for the king's majesty's honour, and the wealth of the realm. 
There were in the parliament, in both houses, a great 
many learned men, conscionable men, wise men. When 
that man was attainted there, and they had liberty there 
to say nay to his attaintment if they would ; sure I am the 
most allowed it, or else it could not have gone forward. 

These premises considered, I would have you to bear 
such a heart as it becometh christian subjects. I know what 
men say of me well enough. I 'could purge myself. There 
is that provokes me to speak against this law of attaintment : 
they say I am not indifferent. Surely I would have it to be 
done rarely, upon some great respect to the commonwealth, 
for avoiding of greater tumult and peril. St Paul was al- 
lowed to answer for himself : if Lysias the tribune had not 
plucked him away from shewing of his matter, it had cost 
him his life. Where he was saved by the magistrate, 
being but a private man ; will ye not allow that something 
be done as well for saving of the magistrate's life ? It 
behoves them of the parliament to look well upon the mat- 
ter : and I, for my part, think not but they did well ; else I 
should not yield the duty of a subject. Some liken me to 
doctor Shaw, that preached at Paul's Cross, that king Ed- 
ward's sons were bastards. An easy matter for one of the 
council to do as doctor Shaw did. Methink you, being 
the king's servant and his officer, should think better on 
the king and his council, though I were light of belief. If 
he had been a true man to his master, he would never have 
spoken it. The council needs not my lie for the defence 
of that that they do. I can bear it of myself. Concern- 
ing myself, that which I have spoken hath done some good. 
You will say this : the parliament-house are wiser than I am, 



King Edward the Sixth 159 

you might leave them to the defence of themselves. Al- 
though the men of the parliament-house can defend them- 
selves, yet have I spoken this of a good zeal, and a good 
ground, of the admiral's writing; I have not feigned nor 
lied one jot, I take God to witness. Use therefore your 
judgment and languages as it becometh christian subjects. 
I will now leave the honourable council to answer for them- 
selves. He confessed one fact, he would have had the 
governance of the king's majesty. And wot you why ? 
He said he would not, in his minority, have him brought 
up like a ward. I am sure he hath been brought up so 
godly, with such schoolmasters, as never king was in 
England, and so hath prospered under them as never none 
did. I wot not what he meant by his bringing up like a 
ward, unless he would have him not to go to his book and 
learn as he doth. Now wo worth him ! Yet I will not say 
so neither, but I pray God amend him, or else God send 
him short life, that would have my sovereign not to be 
brought up in learning, and would pluck him from his book. 
I advertise thee therefore, my fellow-subject, use thy tongue 
better, and expound well the doings of the magistrates. 

Now to the purpose ; for these things let me of my matter. 
Some say preachers should not meddle with such matters ; 
but did not our Saviour Jesus Christ meddle with matters of 
judgment, when he spake of the wicked judge, to leave 
example to us to follow, to do the same ? Ye see here that 
lady Covetousness is a fruitful woman, ever childing, and 
ever bringing forth her fruits. It is a true saying. Radix 
omnium malorum avaritia, "Covetousness is the root of all 
wickedness." One will say, peradventure, " You speak un- 
seemly and inconveniently, so to be against the officers for 
taking of rewards in doing pleasures. Ye consider not the. 
matter to the bottom. Their offices be bought for great 
sums ; now how should they receive their money again but 
by bribing ? Ye would have them undone. Some of them 
gave two hundred pound, some five hundred pound, some 
cwo thousand pound : and how shall they gather up this 
money again, but by helping themselves in their office ? " 
And is it so, trow ye ? Are civil offices bought for money ? 
Lord God, who would have thought that ! Let us not be 
too hasty to credit it : for then we have the old proverb. 
Omnia venalia Romce, " All things are sold for money at 
Rome ; " and Rome is come home to our own doors. If they 



i6o Fifth Sermon preached before 

buy, they must needs sell ; for it is wittily spoken, Ve7idere 
jure potest^ e7?ierat ille prius, " He may lawfully sell it, he 
bought it before. God forfend that ever any such enormity 
should be in England, that civil offices should be bought and 
sold ; whereas men should have them given them for their 
worthiness ! I would the king's majesty should seek through 
|iis realm for meet men, and able men, worthy to be in office, 
yea, and give them liberally for their pains ; and rather give 
them money to take the office in hand, than they to give 
money for it. This buying of offices is a making of bribery ; 
it is an inducing and enforcing and compelling of men to 
bribery. Holy scripture qualifieth the officers, and sheweth 
what manner of men they should be, and of what qualities, 
viros fortes, some translations have, viros sapientes, " wise 
men;" the English translation hath it very well, "men of 
activity," that have stomachs to do their office : they must 
not be milksops, nor white-livered knights ; they must be 
wise, hearty, hardy, men of a good stomach. Secondarily, 
he qualifieth them with the fear of God : he saith they 
must be timetites Deurn, " fearing God." For if he fear 
God, he shall be no briber, no perverter of judgment, faith- 
ful. Thirdly, they must be chosen officers, in quibus est 
Veritas, "in whom is truth ; " if he say it, it shall be done. 
Fourthly, qui oderunt avaritiam, " hating covetousness : " far 
from it ; he will not come near it that hateth it. It is not 
he that will give five hundred pound for an office. With 
these qualities God's wisdom would have magistrates to be 
qualified. 

This cometh from the devil's consistory, to pay five hun- 
dred pound for one office. If they pay so much, it must 
needs follow that they take bribes, that they be bribe-takers. 
Such as be meet to bear office, seek them out, hire them, 
give them competent and liberal fees, that they shall not need 
to take any bribes. Ahd if ye be a selling civil offices, ye 
are as they which sell their benefices ; and so we shall have 
omnia vetialia, all things bought for money. I marvel the 
ground gapes not and devours us : howbeit, we ought not 
to marvel ; surely it is the great lenity of God that suffers it. 
O Lord, in what case are we ! If the great men iri Turky 
should use in their religion of Mahomet to sell, as our patrons 
commonly sell benefices here, the office of preaching, the office 
of salvation, it should be taken as an intolerable thing ; the 
Turk would not suffer it in his commonwealth. Patrons bs 



King Edward the Sixth i6i 

charged to see the office done, and not to seek a lucre and 
a gain by their patronship. There was a patron in England, 
when it was that he had a benefice fallen into his hand, and 
a good brother of mine came unto him, and brought him 
thirty apples in a dish, :;nd gave them his man to carry them 
to his master. It is like he gave one to his man for his 
labour, to make up the game, and so there was thirty-one. 
This man cometh to his master, and presented him with the 
dish of apples, saying, " Sir, such a man hath sent you a dish 
of fruit, and desireth you to be good unto him for such a 
benefice." " Tush, tush," quoth he, " this is no apple matter ; I 
will have none of his apples ; I have as good as these, or as 
he hath any, in mine own orchard." The man came to the 
priest again, and told him what his master said. •' Then," 
quoth the priest, " desire him yet to prove one of them for 
my sake ; he shall find them much better than they look 
for." He cut one of them, and found ten pieces of gold in it. 
" Marry," quoth he, "this is a good apple." The priest stand- 
ing not far off, hearing what the gentleman said, cried out and 
answered, " They are all one apple, I warrant you, sir ; they 
grew all on one tree, and' have all one taste." "Well, he is 
a good fellow, let him have it," quoth the patron. Get you 
a graft of this tree, and I warrant you it will stand you in 
better stead than all St Paul's learning. Well, let patrons 
take heed ; for they shall answer for all the souls that perish 
through their default. There is a saying, that there be a 
great many in England that say there is no soul, that believe 
not in the immortality of man's soul, that think it is not 
eternal, but like a dog's soul, that think there is neither 
heaven or hell. O Lord, what a weighty matter is this ! 
What a lamentable thing in a christian commonwealth ! I 
cannot tell what they say ; but I perceive by these works 
that they think so, or else they would never do as they 
do. These sellers of offices shew that they believe that there 
is neither hell nor heaven : it is taken for a laughing matter. 

Well, I will go on. Now to the chapter. The children 
of Israel came to Samuel, and said, Se7iuisti ; " Thou art 
grown into age, give us a king ; thy sons walk not in thy 
ways." What a heaviness was this to father Samuel's heart, 
to hear that his sons, whom he had so well brought up, 
should swerve from his ways that he had walked in ! Father 
Samuel goeth to God, to know his will and pleasure in this 
matter. God answered, " Let them have a king ; they have 



1 62 Fifth Sermon preached before 

not cast thee away, but me, that I should not reign over 
them." This is their ground, that say a king is an odious 
thing, and not acceptable before the face of God. Thus they 
force and violate this place, to make it for their purpose ; 
where no such thing is meant, " Shew the Israelites," saith 
God, " and testify to them a king's authority, and what a 
king is, and what a king will do. If that will not persuade 
them, 1 will not hear them hereafter when they shall cry 
unto me." 

I must needs confess that the Jews trespassed against 
God in asking a king ; but here is the matter, in what 
thing their offence stood, whether absolutely in asking a 
king, or in any other circumstance. It was in a circum- 
stance : they said not. Ask us a king of God ; but, Make us 
a king to judge us, as all other nations have. They would 
have a king of their own swing, and of their own election, 
as though they passed not of God. In another point there 
was pride ; they would be like the heathen, and judged 
under kings, as they were. Thirdly, they offended God, 
because they asked a king to the injury and wrong of good 
father Samuel, to depose him ; so this was a wrong toward 
Samuel. It was not with Samuel and his children, Idel and 
Abia, like as with Eli and his children, Ophnia and Phinees. 
They were cruel, who with hooks taking the flesh out of the 
pots, when that sacrifice was offered to God, brought the 
people into a contempt of God's word. They were lecherers ; 
their sin was manifestly and notoriously known : but their 
father Eli, knowing and hearing of it, did blame them, but 
nothing to the purpose ; he did not earnestly and substan- 
tially chastise them, and therefore he was justly deposed of 
God. The sins of Samuel's sons were not known ; they were 
not so notorious : wherefore it was not with father Samuel as 
it was with Eli ; his sons' faults were taking of bribes, and 
perverting of judgments. Ye know that bribery is a secret 
fault, and therefore it was not known : it was done under a 
colour and a pretence of justice, hiddenly and covertly done : 
therefore because it stood in bribes, it was not like in Samuel 
as in Eli. It is a dangerous thing to be in office ; for qui 
attingit picem coinquinabitur ab ea ; " He that meddleth 
with pitch is like to be spotted with it." Bribes may be 
assembled ^ to pitch ; for even as pitch doth pollute their hands 
thac meddle with it, so bribes will bring you to perverting of 
' assimilated. 



King Edward the Sixth 163 

justice. Beware of pitch, you judges of the world; bribes will 
make you pervert justice. " Why," you will say, "we touch 
none." No, marry, but my mistress your wife hath a fine finger, 
she toucheth it for you : or else you have a servant, a mime- 
ribus ; he will say, " If you will come to my master and offer 
him a yoke of oxen, you shall speed never the worse ; but I 
think my master will take none." When he hath offered 
them to the' master, then comes another servant and says, 
"If you will bring them to the clerk of the kitchen, you 
shall be remembered the better." This is a friarly fashion, 
that will receive no money in their hands, but will have it 
put upon their sleeves ; a goodly rag of popish religion. 
They be like Gray Friars, that will not be seen to receive 
bribes themselves, but have others to receive for them. 

Though Samuel's sons were privy bribers, and kept the 
thing very close, yet the cry of the people brought it to 
Samuel. It was a hid kind of sin : for men in this point 
would face it, and brazen it, and make a shew of upright 
dealing, when they be most guilty. Nevertheless, this gear 
came out. O wicked sons, that brought both their father 
to deposition, and themselves to shame ! When Samuel 
heard of their fault, he went not about to excuse their faults : 
he would not bear with his sons, he would not coinmunicare 
peccatis alienis, be partaker with his sons' offences : he said. 
Ego senui, ecce filii mei vobiscum sunt. As soon as he heard 
of it, he delivered his sons to the people to be punished. 
He went not about to excuse them, nor said not, "This is the 
first time, bear with them ; " but presented them by and by 
to the people, saying, " Lo, here they be, take them, do with 
them according to their deserts." Oh, I would there were 
no more bearers of other men's sins than this good father 
Samuel was ! 

I heard of late of a notable bloodshed : " Audio" saith 
St Paul ; and so do I : I know it not, but I hear of it. 
There was a searcher in London which, executing his office, 
displeased a merchantman, insomuch that when he was doing 
his office they were at words : the merchantman threatened 
him ; the searcher said the king should not lose his custom. 
The merchant goes me home, and sharpens his wood-knife, 
and comes again and knocks him on the head, and kills him. 
They that told me the tale say it is winked at; they look 
through their fingers, and will not see it. Whether it be 
taken up with a pardon, or no, I cannot tell ; but this I am 



164 Fifth Sermon preached before 

sure, and if ye bear with such matters, the devil shall bear 
you away to hell. Bloodshed and murder would have no 
bearing. It is a heinous thing bloodshedding, and especially 
voluntary murder and prepensed murder. For in Numbers 
God saith, it polluteth the whole realm : Polluitur ilia terra, 
■&C., et noti potest expiari sine satiguine ; "The land cannot 
be purified nor cleansed again, till his blood be shed that 
shed it." It is the office of a king to see such murderers 
punished with death; iox non frustra gestat gladium. What 
will you make of a king ? He beareth a sword before him, 
not a peacock's feather. I go not about to stir you now to 
cruelty ; but I speak against the bearing of bloodshed : this 
bearing must be looked upon. In certain causes of murder 
such great circumstances may be, that the king may pardon 
a murder. But if I were worthy to be of counsel, or if 
I were asked mine advice, I would not have the king to 
pardon a voluntary murder, a prepensed murder. 

I can tell where one man slew another in a township, 
and was attached upon the same : twelve men were im- 
panelled : the man had friends : the sheriff laboured the 
bench : the twelve men stuck at it, and said, " Except he 
would disburse twelve crowns, they would find him guilty." 
Means were found that the twelve crowns were paid. The 
quest comes in, and says "Not guilty." Here was "not 
guilty " for twelve crowns. This is a bearing, and if some 
of the bench were hanged, they were well served. This 
makes men bold to do murder and slaughter. We should 
reserve murdering till we come to our enemies, and the king 
bid us fight : he that would bestir him then were a pretty 
fellow indeed. Crowns ! if their crowns were shaven to the 
shoulders, they were served well enough. 

I know where a woman was got with child, and was 
ashamed at the matter, and went into a secret place, where 
she had no woman at her travail, and was delivered of 
three children at a birth. She wrung their necks, and cast 
them into a water, and so killed her children : suddenly she 
was gaunt again ; and her neighbours suspecting the matter, 
caused her to be examined, and she granted all. Afterward 
she was arraigned at the bar for it, and despatched and 
found not guilty, through bearing of friends, and bribing of 
the judge : where, at the same sessions, another poor woman 
was hanged for stealing a few rags off a hedge that were 
not worth a crown. 



King Edward the Sixth 165 

There was a certain gentleman, a professor of the word 
of God, (he sped never the better for that, ye may be sure,) 
who was accused for murdering of a man, whereupon he was 
cast into prison ; and by chance, as he was in prison, one of 
his friends came unto him for to visit him ; and he declared 
to his friend that he was never guilty in the murdering of 
the man : so he went his ways. The gentleman was arraigned 
and condemned ; and as he went to his execution, he saw 
his friend's servant, and said unto him, " Commend me to 
thy master, and I pray thee tell him, I am the same man 
still I was when he was with me ; and if thou tarry awhile, 
thou shalt see me die." There was suit made for this man's 
pardon, but it could not be gotten. Belike the sheriffs or 
some other bare him no good will : but he died for it. And 
afterward, I being in the Tower, having leave to come to 
the lieutenant's table, I heard him say, that there was a man 
hanged afterward that killed the same man for whom this 
gentleman was put to death. O Lord, what bearing, what 
bolstering of naughty matters is this in a christian realm ! 
I desire your Majesty to remedy the matter, and God grant 
you to see redress in this realm in your own person. 
Although my lord Protector, I doubt not, and the rest of 
the council do, in the mean while, all that lieth in them 
to redress things ; I would such as be rulers, noblemen, and 
masters, should be at this point with their servants, to certify 
them on this sort : If any man go about to do you wrong, I 
will do my best to help you in your right ; but if ye break 
the law, ye shall have justice. If ye will be man-quellers, 
murderers, and transgressors, look for no bearing at my 
hands. A strange thing ! What need we in the vengeance 
to burden ourselves with other men's sins ? Have we not sins 
enow of our own ? What need have I to burden myself 
with other men's sins ? I have burdens and two heaps of 
sins, one heap of known sins, another of unknown sins. I 
had need to say, Ab occultis meis mu7ida me, Domine ; "O 
Lord, deliver me from my hidden and my unknown sins." 
Then if I bear with other men's sins, I must say : Deliver 
me from my other men's sins. A strange saying : from my 
other men's sins ! Who beareth with other folks' offences, he 
communicateth with other folks' sins. Men have sins enough 
of their own, although they bear not and bolster up other 
men in their naughtiness. This bearing, this bolstering, and 
looking through their fingers, is naught. What the fair hap 



1 66 Fifth Sermon preached before 

should I, or any else, increase my burden ? My other men's 
sins forgive me, O Lord : a strange language ! they have 
hid sins of their own enough, although they bear not with 
guiltiness of other men's sins. 

Oh, father Samuel would not bear his own sons; he 
offered his own sons to punishment, and said, Ecce -filii mei 
vobisciim simt : even at the first time he said, " Lo, here they 
be : I discharge myself ; take them unto you : and as for 
my part, Prcesto sum loqui coram Domino et Christo ejus ; 
I am here ready to answer for myself before the Loivi, and 
his anointed. Behold, here I am, record of me before the 
Lord, utrum cujusquam bovem, &c., whether I have taken 
any man's ox, any man's ass, or whether I have done any 
man wrong, or hurt any man, or taken any bribes at any 
man's hand." I can commend the English translation, that 
doth interpret 7nunera, bribes, not gifts. They answered, 
" Nay, forsooth, we know no such things in you." Testis est 
mihi Detis, saith he, "God is witness," quod tiihil in- 
veneritis in manu mea, " that you have found nought in 
my hands." Few such Samuels are in England, nor in the 
world. Why did Samuel this ? Marry, to purge himself; he 
was enforced to it, for he was wrongly deposed. 

Then by this ye may perceive the fault of the Jews, for 
they offended not God in asking of a king, but in asking for 
a king to the wronging and deposition of good father Samuel. 
If after Samuel's death the people had asked of God a king, 
they had not faulted : but it is no small fault to put an 
innocent out of his office King David likewise commanded 
his people to be numbered, and therewith offended God 
grievously. Why, might he not know the number of his 
people? Yes,- it was not the numbering of the people that 
offended God, for a king may number his people ; but he did 
it of a pride, of an elation of mind, not according to God's 
ordinance, but as having a trust in the number of his men : 
this offended God. Likewise the Jews asked a king, and 
therewith they offended not God, but they asked him with 
such circumstances, that God was offended with them. It is 
no small fault to put a just man out of his office, and to 
depose him unworthily. To choose a king contrarying the 
ordinance of God, is a casting away of God, and not of a 
king. Therefore doubt not but the title of a king is a lawful 
thing, is a lawful title, as of other magistrates. Only let the 
kings take heed that they do as it becometh kings to do, 



King Edward the Sixth 167 

that they do their ofifice well. It is a great thing, a charge- 
able thing. Let them beware that they do not communicare 
peccatis alients, that they bear not with other men's faults ; 
for they shall give a strait account for all that perisheth 
through their negligence. We perceive now what this text 
meaneth. It is written in the last of Judges, In diebus illis 
non erat rex in Israel : " In those days there was no king 
in Israel ; every man did that which seemed right in his 
own eyes." Men were then allowed to do what they would. 
When men may be allowed to do what they will, then it is 
as good to have no king at all. Here is a wonderful matter, 
that unpreaching prelates should be suffered so long. They 
can allege for themselves seven hundred years. This while 
the realm had been as good to have no king. Likewise these 
bribing judges have been suffered of a long time : and then it 
was quasi non fuisset rex in Anglia. To suffer this is as 
much as to say, "There is no king in England." It is the 
duty of a king to have all states set in order to do their 
office. 

I have troubled you too long, I will make an end. 
" Blessed be they that hear the word of God," but so that 
they follow it, and keep it in credit, in memory, not to 
deprave it and slander it, and bring the preachers out of 
credit, but that follow it in their life and live after it. He 
grant you all that blessing, that made both you and me 1 
Amen. 



SERMONS PREACHED BEFORE KING 
EDWARD THE SIXTH 

The Sixth Sermon preached before King Edward, 
April twelfth, IS49' 

QucEcunqtce script a sunt, ad nostrarn doctrinam scripta sunt. — RoM. xv. 4. 
All things that are written, they are written to be our doctrine. 

What doctrine is written for us in the eighth chapter of 
the first book of the Kings, I did partly shew unto you, most 
honourable audience, this day sennight, of that good man, 
father Samuel, that good judge, how good a man he was, 
what helpers and coadjutors he took unto him, to have his 
office well discharged. I told you also of the wickedness of 
his sons, how they took bribes, and lived wickedly, and by 
that means brought both their father and themselves to de- 
position ; and how the people did offend God, in asking a 
king in father Samuel's time ; and how father Samuel was 
put from his office, who deserved it not. I opened to you 
also, how father Samuel cleared himself, that he knew not 
the faults of his sons ; he was no bearer with his sons, he 
was sorry for it, when he heard it, but he would not bear 
with them in their wickedness : filii mei vobiscum sunt ; " My 
sons are with you," saith he, " do with them according to 
their deserts. I will not maintain them, nor bear with them." 
After that, he clears himself at the king's feet, that the people 
had nothing to burthen him withal, neither money, nor money 
worth. In treating of that part I chanced to shew you what 
I heard of a man that was slain, and I hear say it was not 
well taken. Forsooth, I intended not to impair any man's 
estimation or honesty, and they that enforce it to that, enforce 
it not to my meaning. I said I heard but of such a thing, and 
took occasion by that that I heard to speak against the thing 
that I knew to be naught, that no man should bear with any 
man to the maintenance of voluntary and prepensed murder. 

168 



Sixth Sermon 169 

And I hear say since, the man was otherwise an honest 
man, and they that spake for him are honest men. I 
am inclinable enough to credit it. I spake not because I 
would have any man's honesty impaired. Only I did, as 
St Paul did, who hearing of the Corinthians, that there should 
be contentions and misorder among them, did write unto 
them that he heard ; and thereupon, by occasion of hearing, 
he set forth the very wholesome doctrine of the Supper of 
the Lord. We might not have lacked that doctrine, I tell 
you. Be it so, the Corinthians had no such contentions 
among them, as Paul wrote of ; be it so, they had not mis- 
ordered themselves : it was neither off nor on to that that 
Paul said : the matter lay in that, that upon hearing he 
would take occasion to set out the good and true doctrine. 
So I did not affirm it to be true that I heard ; I spake it to 
advertise you to beware of bearing with wilful and prepensed 
murder. I would have nothing enforced against any man : 
this was mine intent and meaning. I do not know what ye 
call chance-medley in the law ; it is not for my study. I am 
a scholar in scripture, in God's book ; I study that. I know 
what voluntary murder is before God : if I shall fall out with 
a man, he is angry with me, and I with him, and lacking 
opportunity and place, we shall put it off for that time ; in the 
mean season I prepare my weapon, and sharp it against 
another time ; I swell and boil in this passion towards him ; 
I seek him, we meddle together ; it is my chance, by reason 
my weapon is better than his, and so forth, to kill him ; I give 
him his death-stroke in my vengeance and anger : this call I 
voluntary murder in scripture ; what it is in the law, I cannot 
tell. It is a great sin, and therefore I call it voluntary. I 
reniember what a great clerk writeth of this : Omne pecca- 
tum adeo est voluntarium, ut ?iisi sit volu7itariuin non sit 
peccatum: "Every sin," saith he, "is so voluntary, that if 
it be not voluntary, it cannot be called sin." Sin is no actual 
sin, if it be not voluntary. I would we would all know our 
fiaults and repent : that that is done, is done ; it cannot be 
called back again. God is merciful, the king is merciful : here 
we may repent, this is the place of repentance ; when we are 
gone hence, it is too late then to repent. And let us be con- 
tent with such order as the magistrates shall take : but sure it 
is a perilous thing to bear with any such matter. I told you 
what I heard say ; I would have no man's honesty impaired 
by my telling. I heard say since of another murder, that a 



lyo Sixth Sermon preached before 

Spaniard should kill an Englishman, and run him through 
"with his sword ; they say he was a tall man : but I hear not 
that the Spaniard was hanged for his labour ; if I had, I 
would have told you it too. They fell out, as the tale goeth, 
about a whore. O Lord, what whoredom is used now-a-days, 
as I hear by the relation of honest men, which tell it not after 
a worldly sort, as though they rejoiced at it, but heavily, 
with heavy hearts, how God is dishonoured by whoredom in 
this city of London ; yea, the Bank,^ when it stood, was 
never so common ! If it be true that is told, it is marvel that 
it doth not sink, and that the earth gapeth not and swallow- 
eth it up. It is wonderful that the city of London doth suffer 
such whoredom unpunished. God hath suffered long of his 
great lenity, mercy, and benignity ; but he will punish sharply 
at the length, if we do not repent. There is some place in 
London,^ as they say, " Immunity, impunity : " what should 
I call it? A privileged place for whoredom. The lord 
mayor hath nothing to do there, the sheriffs they cannot 
meddle with it ; and the quest they do not inquire of it : and 
there men do bring their whores, yea, other men's wives, 
and there is no reformation of it. 

There be such dicing houses also, they say, as hath not 
been wont to be, where young gentlemen dice away their 
thrift ; and where dicing is, there are other follies also. For 
the love of God let remedy be had, let us wrestle and strive 
against sin. Men of England, in times past, when they would 
exercise themselves, (for we must needs have some recreation, 
our bodies cannot endure without some exercise,) they were 
wont to go abroad in the fields a shooting ; but now it is 
turned into glossing, gulling, and whoring within the house. 
The art of shooting hath been in times past much esteemed 
in this realm : it is a gift of God that he hath given us to 
excel all other nations withal : it hath been God's instrument, 
whereby he hath given us many victories against our enemies : 
but now we have taken up whoring in towns, instead of 
shooting in the fields. A wondrous thing, that so excellent 
a gift of God should be so little esteemed ! I desire you, my 
lords, even as ye love the honour and glory of God, and 
intend to remove his indignation, let there be sent forth some 

' The Bank-side in Southwark. 

^ The precinct of St Martin-le-Grand, originally a sanctuary, and 
which retained its extra-civic immunity, and was regarded as "a 
privileged place," long after sanctuaries had been suppressed. 



King Edward the Sixth 17 j 

proclamation, some sharp proclamation to the justices o* 
peace, for they do not their duty : justices now be no justices^ 
I'here be many good acts made for this matter already. 
Charge them upon their allegiance, that this singular benefit 
of God may be practised, and that it be not turned into 
bowling, glossing, and whoring within the towns ; for they 
be negligent in executing these laws of shooting. In my 
time my poor father was as diligent to teach me to shoot, as- 
to learn me any other thing ; and so I think other men did 
their children : he taught me how to draw, how to lay my' 
body in my bow, and not to draw with strength of arms, as' 
other nations do, but with strength of the body : I had my 
bows bought me, according to my age and strength ; as I 
increased m them, so my bows were made bigger and bigger ; 
for men shall never shoot well, except they be brought up in 
it : it is a goodly art, a wholesome kind of exercise, and 
much commended in physic. 

Marcilius Phicinus, in his book De triplici vita, (it is a 
great while since I read him now,) but I remember he com- 
mendeth this kind of exercise, and saith, that it wrestleth 
against many kinds of diseases. In the reverence of God let 
it be continued ; let a proclamation go forth, charging the 
justices of peace, that they see such acts and statutes kept 
as were made for this purpose, 

I will to my matter. I intend this day to entreat of a 
piece of scripture written in the beginning of the fifth chapter 
of Luke. I am occasioned to take this place by a book sent 
to the king's majesty that dead is by master Pole. It is a 
text that he doth greatly abuse for the supremacy : he racks 
it, and violates it, to serve for the maintenance of the bishop 
of Rome. And as he did enforce the other place, that I 
entreated of last, so did he enforce this also, to serve his 
matter. The story is this : our Saviour Christ was come now 
to the bank of the water of Genezareth. The people were 
come to him, and flocked about him to hear him preach. 
And Jesus took a boat that was standing at the pool, (it was 
Simon's boat,) and went into it. And sitting in the boat, he 
preached to them that were on the bank. And when he had 
preached and taught them, he spake to Simon, and bade him 
launch out further into the deep, and loose his nets to catch 
fish. And Simon made answer and said, " Master, we have 
laboured all night, but we caught nothing : howbeit, at thy 
commandment, because thou biddest us, we will go to i 



172 Sixth Sermon preached before 

again." And so they did, and caught a great draught, a 
miraculous draught, so much that the net brake ; and they 
called to their fellows that were by (for they had two boats) 
to come to help them ; and they came, and filled both their 
boats so full, that they were nigh drowning. 

This is the story. That I may declare this text so that it 
may be to the honour of God, and edification of your souls 
and mine both, I shall desire you to help me with your 
prayer, in the which, &c. 

Factum est autem (saith the text) cum turha irrueret in 
eum. St Luke tells the story, " And it came to pass, when 
the people pressed upon him, so that he was in peril to be 
cast into the pond, they rushed so fast upon him, and made 
such throng to him." A wondrous thing : what a desire the 
people had in those days to hear our Saviour Christ preach ! 
And the cause may be gathered of the latter end of the chapter 
that went before. Our Saviour Christ had preached unto 
them, and healed the sick folks of such diseases and mala- 
dies as they had, and therefore the people would have retained 
him still : but he made them answer, and said, Et aliis civi- 
tatibus oportet me evangelizare regtium Dei, nam in hoc 
missus sum : " I must preach the kingdom of God to other 
cities also : I must show them my Father's will, for I came 
for that purpose : I was sent to preach the word of God." 
Our Saviour Christ said, how he must not tarry in one place : 
for he was sent to the world, to preach everywhere. Is it 
not a marvellous thing, that our unpreaching prelates can 
read this place, and yet preach no more than they do ? I 
marvel that they can go quietly to bed, and see how he 
allureth them with his example to be diligent in their office. 
Here is a godly lesson also, how our Saviour Christ fled from 
glory. If these ambitious persons, that climb to honour by 
by-walks inordinately, would consider this example of Jesus 
Christ, they should come to more honour than they do ; for 
when they seek honour by such by-walks, they come to con- 
fusion. Honour followeth them that flee from it. Our Saviour 
Christ gat him away early in the morning, and went unto the 
wilderness. I would they would follow this example of Christ, 
and not seek honour by such by-walks as they do. But 
what did the people, when he had hid himself ? They smelled 
him out in the wilderness, and came unto him by flocks, 
and followed him a great number. But where read you 
that a great number of scribes and Pharisees and bishops 



King Edward the Sixth 173 

followed him ? There is a doctor that writeth of this place ; 
his name is doctor Gorrham, Nicholas Gorrham : I knew 
him to be a school-doctor a great while ago, but I never 
knew him to be an interpreter of scripture till now of late : 
he saith thus : Major devotio in laicis vetulis qua?n in 
clericis, <5^^., " There is more devotion," saith he, " in lay-folk, 
and old wives, these simple folk, the vulgar people, than in 
the clerks : " they be better affected to the word of God 
than those that be of the clergy. I marvel not at the sen- 
tence, but I marvel to find such a sentence in such a doctor. 
If I should say so much, it would be said to me, that it is an 
evil bird that defiles his own nest ; and, ne7?io loediiur nisi 
a seipso, " there is no man hurt but of his ownself." There 
was verified the saying of our Saviour Christ, which he spake 
in another place : Ubicufique fuerit cadaver, ibi congrega- 
bimtur aquilcz ; " Wheresoever a dead carrion is, thither will 
the eagles gather." Our Saviour Christ compares himself to- 
a dead carrion ; for where the carrion is, there will the eagles 
be : and though it be an evil smell to us, and stinks in a 
man's nose, yet it is a sweet smell to the eagles ; they will 
seek it out. So the people sought out Christ, they smelt 
his savour ; he was a sweet smell to them. He is odor vitce. 
ad vitam, " the smell of life to life." They flocked about him 
like eagles. Christ was the carrion, and the people were the 
eagles. They had no pleasure to hear the scribes and the 
Pharisees ; they stank in their nose ; their doctrine was unsa- 
voury ; it was of lolions, of decimations of aniseed and 
cummin, and such gear. There was no comfort in it for sore 
consciences ; there was no consolation for wounded souls ; 
there was no remedy for sins, as was in Christ's doctrine. 
His doctrine eased the burden of the soul ; it was sweet to the 
common people, and sour to the scribes. It was such comfort 
and pleasure to them, that they came flocking about him. 
Wherefore came they ? Ut audirent verbum Dei. It was a 
good coming ; they came to hear the word of God. It was 
not to be thought that they came all of one mind to hear the 
word of God : it is likely, that in so great a multitude some 
came of curiosity, to hear some novels ; and some came smell- 
ing a sweet savour, to have consolation and comfort of God's 
vvord : for we cannot be saved without hearing of the word ; 
it is a necessary way to salvation. We cannot be saved 
without faith, and faith cometh by hearing of the word. 
Fides ex auditu. "And how shall they hear without a 



174 Sixth Sermon preached before 

preacher ? " I tell you it is the footstep of the ladder of 
heaven, of our salvation. There must be preachers, if we 
look to be saved. I told you of this gradation before, in the 
tenth to the Romans : consider it well. I had rather ye 
should come of a naughty mind to hear the word of God for 
novelty, or for curiosity to hear some pastime, than to be 
away. I had rather ye should come as the tale is by the 
gentlewoman of London : one of her neighbours met her in 
the street, and said, " Mistress, whither go ye ? " " Marry," 
said she, " I am going to St Thomas of Acres to the sermon ; 
I could not sleep all this last night, and I am going now 
thither ; I never failed of a good nap there." And so I had 
rather ye should go a napping to the sermons, than not to go 
at all. For with what mind soever ye come, though ye come 
for an ill purpose, yet peradventure ye may chance to be 
caught or ye go ; the preacher may chance to catch you on 
his hook. Rather than ye should not come at all, I would 
have you come of curiosity, as St Augustine came to hear 
St Ambrose. When St Augustine came to Milan, (he tells 
the story himself, in the end of his fifth book of Confessions,) 
he was very desirous to hear St Ambrose, not for any love he 
had to the doctrine that he taught, but to hear his eloquence, 
whether it was so great as the speech was, and as the bruit 
went. Well, before he departed, St Ambrose caught him on 
his hook, and converted him, so that he became of a Manichee, 
and of a Platonist, a good Christian, a defender of Christ's 
religion and of the faith afterward. So I would have you 
to come to sermons. It is declared in many places of scrip- 
ture, how necessary preaching is ; as this, Evangelium est 
potentia Dei ad salutem oinni credenti ; " The preaching 
of the gospel is the power of God to every man that doth 
believe." He means God's word opened : it is the instru- 
ment, and the thing whereby we are saved. 

Beware, beware, ye diminish not this office ; for if ye do, 
ye decay God's power to all that do believe. Christ saith, 
consonant to the same. Nisi qiiis re?iatus fuerit e supernis, 
non potest videre regnum Dei : " Except a man be born 
again from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God." He 
must have a regeneration : and what is this regeneration ? It 
is not to be christened in water, as these firebrands expound 
it, and nothing else. How is it to be expounded then ? 
St Peter sheweth that one place of scripture declareth an- 
other. It is the circumstance, and collation of places, that 



King Edward the Sixth 175 

makes scripture plain. Regeneramur autem, saith St Peter, 
"and we be born again:" how? Non ex semine mortaliy 
sed immortali, " Not by a mortal seed, but by an immortal." 
What is this immortal seed ? Per sennonem Dei viventis : " By 
the word of the living God ; " by the word of God preached 
and opened. Thus cometh in our new birth. 

Here you may see how necessary this office is to our 
salvation. This is the thing that the devil wrestleth most 
against : it hath been all his study to decay this office. He 
worketh against it as much as he can : he hath prevailed too 
much, too much in it. He hath set up a state of unpreach- 
ing prelacy in this realm this seven hundred year ; a stately 
unpreaching prelacy. He hath made unpreaching prelates; 
he hath stirred up by heaps to persecute this office in the 
title of heresy. He hath stirred up the magistrates to perse- 
cute it in the title of sedition, and he hath stirred up the 
people to persecute it with exprbbations and slanderous words, 
as by the name of " new learning," " strange preaching ; " and 
with impropriations he hath turned preaching into private 
masses. If a priest should have left mass undone on a 
Sunday within these ten years, all J^ngland should have 
wondered at it ; but they might have left off the sermon 
twenty Sundays, and never have been blamed. And thus by 
these impropriations private masses were set up, and preaching 
of God's word trodden under foot. But what doth he now ? 
What doth he now ? He stirs men up to outrageous rearing of 
rents, that poor men shall not be able to find their children 
at the school to be divines. What an unreasonable devil is 
this ! He provides a great while beforehand for the time that 
is to come : he hath brought up now of late the most 
monstrous kind of covetousness that ever was heard of : he 
hath invented fee-farming of benefices, and all to decay this 
office of preaching ; insomuch that, when any man hereafter 
shall have a benefice, he may go where he will, for any house 
he shall have to dwell upon, or any glebe-land to keep hospi- 
tality withal ; but he must take up a chamber in an alehouse, 
and there sit and play at the tables all the day. A goodly 
curate ! He hath caused also, through this monstrous kind 
of covetousness, patrons to sell their benefices : yea what doth 
he more? He gets him to the university, and causeth great 
men and esquires to send their sons thither, and put out 
poor scholars that should be divines ; for their parents intend 
not that they shall be preachers, but that they may have a 



176 Sixth Sermon preached before 

shew of learning. But it were too long to declare unto you 
what deceit and means the devil hath found to decay the 
office of salvation, this office of regeneration. 

" But to return to my matter. The people came to hear 
the word of God : they heard him with silence. I remember 
now a saying of St Chrysostom, and peradventure it might 
come hereafter in better place, but yet I will take it whilst 
it Cometh to mind : the saying is this, Et loquentem eum 
audierimt in silefiiio, seriem locutionis non interrumpentes : 
" They heard him," saith he, " in silence, not interrupting 
the order of his preaching." He means, they heard him 
quietly, without any shovelling of feet, or walking up and 
down. Surely it is an ill misorder that folk shall be walking 
up and down in the sermon-time, as I have seen in this place 
this Lent : and there shall be such buzzing and buzzing in 
the preacher's ear, tliat it maketh hin> oftentimes to forget 
his matter. O let us consider the king's majesty's goodness ! 
This place was prepared for banqueting of the body ; and 
his Majesty hath made it a place for the comfort of the soul, 
and to have the word of God preached in it ; shewing hereby 
that he would have qjl his subjects at it, if it might be pos- 
sible. Consider what the king's majesty hath done for you ; 
he alloweth you all to hear with him. Consider where ye 
be. First, ye ought to have a reverence to God's word ; and 
though it be preached by poor men, yet it is the same word 
that our Saviour spake. Consider also the presence of the 
king's majesty, God's high vicar in earth, having a respect 
to his personage. Ye ought to have reverence to it, and con- 
sider that he is God's high minister, and yet alloweth you all 
to be partakers with him of the hearing of God's word. 
This benefit of his would be thankfully taken, and it would 
be highly esteemed. Hear in silence, as Chrysostom saith. 
It may chance that some in the company may fall sick or be 
diseased ; if there be any such, let them go away with silence ; 
let them leave their salutations till they come in the court, 
let them depart with silence. I took occasion of Chrysostom's 
words to admonish you of this thing. 

What should be the cause that our Saviour Christ went 
into the boat ? The scripture calleth it 7iavis or navicula, but 
it was no ship, it was a fisher's boat ; they were not able to 
have a ship. What should be the cause why he would not 
stand on the bank and preach there, but he desired Peter to 
draw the boat somewhat from the shore into the midst of 



King Edward the Sixth 5177 

the water : what should be the cause ? One cause was, for 
that he might sit there more commodiously than on the 
bank : another cause was, for that he was Hke to be thrust 
into the pond of the people that came unto him. Why, our 
Saviour Christ might have withstood them, he was strong 
enough to have kept himself from thrusting into ^ the water: 
he was stronger than they all, and if he had listed he might 
have stood on the water, as well as he walked on the water. 
Truth it is, so might he have done indeed. But as it was 
sometime his pleasure to show the power of his Godhead, so 
he declared now the infirmity and imbecility of his manhood. 

Here he giveth us an example what shall we do : we 
must not tempt God by any miracles, so long as we may walk 
by ordinary ways. As our Saviour Christ, when the devil 
had him on the top of the temple, and would have had him 
cast himself down, he made him this answer, Non tentabis 
Dominum Deum tuum, " Thou shalt not tempt the Lord 
thy God : " as if he should have said, we may not tempt God 
at all. It is no time now to shew any miracles : there is 
another way to go down by greesings. Thus he did shew 
us an example, that we must not tempt-God, except it be in 
extreme necessity, and when we cannot otherwise remedy 
the matter, to leave it all to God, else we may not tempt the 
majesty of his Deity : beware tempting of God. 

Well, he comes to Simon's boat, and why rather to Simon's 
boat than another ? I will answer, as I find by experience in 
myself. I came hither to-day from Lambeth in a wherry; and 
when I came to take boat, the watermen came about me, as 
the manner is, and he would have me, and he would have me: 
I took one of them. Now ye will ask me, why I came in 
that boat rather than in another ? Because 1 would go into 
that that I see stand next me ; it stood more commodiously 
for me. And so did Christ by Simon's boat : it stood nearer 
for him, he saw a better seat in it. A good natural reason. 
Now come the papists, and they will make a mystery of it : 
they will pick out the supremacy of the bishop of Rome in 
Peter's boat. We may make allegories enough of every 
place in scripture : but surely it must needs be a simple 
matter that standeth on so weak a ground. But ye shall 
see further : he desired Peter to thrust out his boat from the 
shore. He desired him. Here was a good lesson for the 
bishop of Rome, and all his college of cardinals, to learn 
humility and gentleness. Rogabat eum. He desired him : 



178 Sixth Sermon preached before 

it was gently done of him, not with any austerity, but with 
all urbanity, mildness, and softness, and humility. What an 
•example is this that he giveth them here ! But they spy it 
not, they can see nothing but the supremacy of the bishop 
of Rome. A wondrous thing, what sight they have ; they 
see nothing but the supremacy of the bishop of Rome ! Im- 
perabatis ovibus meis, saith Ezekiel, cum avaritia et auste- 
ritate, et dispersce sunt absque pastore ; " Ye have ruled 
my sheep, and commanded them with great lordliness, auste- 
rity, and power ; and thus ye have dispersed my sheep 
abroad." And why ? There was no shepherd, they had 
wanted one a great while. Rome hath been many a hundred 
years without a good shepherd. They would not learn to 
rule them gently ; they had rule over them, but it was with 
cursings, excommunications, with great austerity and thun- 
derbolts, and the devil and all, to maintain their unpreaching 
prelacy. I beseech God open their eyes, that they may see 
the truth, and not be blinded with those things that no man 
can see but they ! 

It followeth in the text, Sedens docebat de navi : " He 
taught sitting." Preachers, belike, were sitters in those days, 
as it is written in another place, Sedent in cathedra Afosis, 
" They sit in the chair of Moses." I would our preachers 
would preach sitting or standing, one way or other. It 
was a godly pulpit that our Saviour Christ had gotten him 
here ; an old rotten boat, and yet he preached his Father's 
will, his Father's message out of this pulpit. He cared not 
for the pulpit, so he might do the people good. Indeed 
it is to be commended for the preacher to stand or sit, as the 
place is; but I would not have it so superstitiously esteemed, 
but that a good preacher may declare the word of God 
sitting on a horse, or preaching in a tree. And yet if this 
should be done, the unpreaching prelates would laugh it to 
scorn. And though it be good to have the pulpit set up 
in churches, that the people may resort thither, yet I would 
not have it so superstitiously used, but that in a profane 
place the word of God might be preached sometimes ; and 
I would not have the people offended withal, no more than 
they be with our Saviour Christ's preaching out of a boat. 
And yet to have pulpits in churches, it is very well done to 
have them, but they would be occupied ; for it is a vain thing 
to have them as they stand in many churches. 

I heard of a bishop of England that went on visitation. 



King Edward the Sixth 179 

and as it was the custom, when the bishop should come, and 
be rung into the town, the great bell's clapper was fallen 
down, the tyall was broken, so that the bishop could not be 
rung into the town. There was a great matter made of this, 
and the chief of the parish were much blamed for it in the 
visitation. The bishop was somewhat quick with them, and 
signified that he was much offended. They made their 
answers, and excused themselves as well as they could : " It was 
a chance," said they, " that the clapper brake, and we could not 
get it mended by and by ; we must tarry till we can have it 
done : it shall be amended as shortly as may be." Among 
the other, there was one wiser than the rest, and he comes 
me to the bishop : " Why, my lord," saith he, " doth your 
lordship make so great a matter of the bell that lacketh his 
clapper? Here is a bell," said he, and pointed to the pulpit, 
" that hath lacked a clapper this twenty years. We have a 
parson that fetcheth out of this benefice fifty pound every 
year, but we never see him." I warrant you, the bishop 
was an unpreaching prelate. He could find fault with the 
bell that wanted a clapper to ring him into the town, but he 
could not find any fault with the parson that preached not at 
his benefice. Ever this ofifice of preaching hath been least 
regarded, it hath scant had the name of God's service. They 
must sing " Salve festa dies " about the church, that no man 
was the better for it, but to shew their gay coats and garments. 
I came once myself to a place, riding on a journey home- 
ward from London, and I sent word over night into the town 
that I would preach there in the morning, because it was 
holiday ; and methought it was an holiday's work. The 
church stood in my way, and I took my horse and my com- 
pany, and went thither. I thought I should have found a 
great company in the church, and when I came there the 
church door was_ fast locked. I tarried there half an hour 
and more : at last the key was found, and one of the parish 
comes to me and says, " Sir, this is a busy day with us, we 
cannot hear you ; it is Robin Hood's day. The parish are 
gone abroad to gather for Robin Hood : I pray you let 
them not." I was fain there to give place to Robin Hood : I 
thought my rochet should have been regarded, though I were 
not ; but it would not serve, it was fain to give place to Robin 
Hood's men. It is no laughing matter, my friends, it is a 
weeping matter, a heavy matter ; a heavy matter, under the 
pretence of gathering for Robin Hood, a traitor and a thief, 



i8o Sixth Sermon preached before 

to put out a preacher, to have his office less esteemed ; to 
prefer Robin Hood before the niinistration of God's word : 
and all this hath come of unpreaching prelates. This realm 
hath been ill provided for, that it hath had such corrupt 
judgments in it, to prefer Robin Hood to God's word. If 
the bishops had been preachers, there should never have 
been any such thing : but we have good hope of better. 
We have had a good beginning : I beseech God to con- 
tinue it ! But I tell you, it is far wide that the people 
have such judgments ; the bishops they could laugh at it. 
What was that to them ? They would have them to con- 
tinue in their ignorance still, and themselves in unpreaching 
prelacy. 

Well, sitting, sitting : " He sat down and taught." The 
text doth tell us that he taught, but it doth not tell us what 
he taught. If I were a papist, 1 could tell what he said ; I 
would, in the Pope's judgment, shew what he taught. For 
the bishop of Rome hath in scrinio pectoris sui the true 
understanding of scriptures. If he call a council, the college 
of cardinals, he hath authority to determine the supper of 
the Lord, as he did at the council of Florence ! And Pope 
Nicholas, and bishop Lanfrank, shall come and expound 
this place, and say, that our Saviour Christ said thus : " Peter, 
I do mean this by sitting in thy boat, that thou shalt go to 
Rome, and be bishop there five-and-twenty years after mine 
ascension ; and all thy successors shall be rulers of the 
universal church after thee." 

Here would I place also holy water, and holy bread, and 
all unwritten verities, if I were a papist ; and, that scripture 
is not to be expounded by any private interpretation, but by 
our holy father and his college of cardinals. This is a great 
deal better place than Due in altum^ " Launch into the 
deep." But what was Christ's sermon ? It may soon be 
gathered what it was. He is always like himself. His first 
sermon was, Pxnitentiain agite ; " Do penance ; your living 
is naught; repent." Again, at Nazareth, when he read in 
the temple, and preached remission of sins, and healing of 
wounded consciences ; and in the long sermon in the mount, 
he was always like himself, he never dissented from himself. 

Oh, there is a writer hath a jolly text here, and his name 
is Dionysius. I chanced to meet with his book in my lord 
of Canterbury's library : he was a monk of the Charterhouse. 
I marvel to find such a sentence in that author. What 



King Edward the Sixth i8i 

taught Christ in this sermon ? Marry, saith he, it is not 
written. And he addeth more unto it ; Eva7igelistce tantum 
scripserutit de sermo?iibus et miraculis Christi quantu7fi cog- 
noverunt, inspirante Deo, sufficere ad cBdificatiofiem ecdesice, 
ad confirmatio7iem fidei, et ad salutem atiiinarum. It is 
true, it is not written ; all his miracles were not written; so 
neither were all his sermons written : yet for all that, the 
evangelists did write so much as was necessary. " They 
wrote so much of the miracles and sermons of Christ as they 
knew by God's inspiration to be sufficient for the edifying of 
the church, the confirmation of our faith, and the health of 
our souls." If this be true, as it is indeed, where be unwrit- 
ten verities ? I marvel not at the sentence, but to find it in 
such an author. Jesus ! what authority he gives to God's 
word ! But God would that such men should be witness 
with the authority of his book, will they, nill they. Now to 
draw towards an end. 

It foUoweth in the text. Due in altum. Here cometh in 
the supremacy of the bishop of Rome. When our Saviour 
Christ had made an end of his sermon, and had fed their 
souls, he provided for their bodies. First, he began with 
the soul : Christ's word is the food of it. Now he goeth to 
the body. He hath charge of them both : we must commit 
the feeding of the body and of the soul to him. Well, he 
saith to Peter, Dtic i7i altum, " Launch into the depth ; put 
forth thy boat farther into the deep of the water ; loose your 
nets ; now fish." As who would say, " Your souls are now 
fed, I have taught you my doctrine ; now I will confirm it 
with a miracle." Lo, sir, here is Due in altum : here Peter 
was made a great man, say the papists, and all his successors 
after him. And this is derived of these few words, " Launch 
into the deep." And their argument is this : he spake to Peter 
only, and he spake to him in the singular number ; ergo he 
gave him such a pre-eminence above the rest. A goodly argu- 
ment ! I ween it be a syllogismus, iti quern terra, pontus. 
I will make a like argument. Our Saviour Christ said to 
Judas, when he was about to betray him, Quod faeis fae eitius, 
" What thou doest, do quickly." Now when he spake to Peter, 
there were none of his disciples by but James and John ; but 
when he spake to Judas, they were all present. Well, he said 
unto him. Quod faeis fae eitius, "Speed thy business that thou 
hast in thy head, do it." He gave him here a secret moni- 
tion, that he knew what he intended, if Judas had had grace 



1 82 Sixth Sermon preached before 

to have taken it, and repented. He spake in the singular 
number to him ; ergo he gave him some pre-eminence. 
Belike he made him a cardinal ; and it might full well be, for 
they have followed Judas ever since. Here is as good a 
ground for the college of cardinals, as the other is for the 
supremacy of the bishop of Rome. " Our Saviour Christ," 
say they, " spake only to Peter for pre-eminence, because he 
was chief of the apostles, and you can shew none other cause ; 
ergo this is the cause why he spake to him in the singular 
number." I dare say there is never a wherryman at West- 
minster-bridge but he can answer to this, and give a natural 
reason of it. He knoweth that one man is able to shove the 
boat, but one man was not able to cast out the nets ; and 
therefore he said in the plural number, Laxate retia, " Loose 
your nets;" and he said in the singular number to Peter, 
" Launch out the boat." Why ? Because he was able to do 
it. But he spake the other in the plural number, because 
he was not able to convey the boat, and cast out the nets 
too : one man could not do it. This would the wherryman 
say, and that with better reason, than to make such a mystery 
of it, as no man can spy but they. And the cause why 
he spake to all was to shew that he will have ail christian 
men to work for their living. It is he that sends food both 
for the body and soul, but he will not send it without 
labour. He will have all christian people to labour for it ; 
he will use our labour as a mean whereby he sendeth our food. 

This was a wondrous miracle of our Saviour Christ, and 
he did it not only to allure them to his discipleship, but also 
for our commodity. It was a seal, a seal to seal his doctrine 
withal. Now ye know that such as be keepers of seals, as 
my lord Chancellor, and such other, whatsoever they be, 
they do not always seal, they have a sealing time : for I have 
heard poor men complain, that they have been put off from 
time to time of sealing, till all their money were spent. 
And as they have times to seal in, so our Saviour Christ had 
his time of sealing. When he was here in earth with his 
apostles, and in the time of the primitive church, Christ's 
doctrine was sufficiently sealed already with seals of his own 
making. What should our seals do ? What need we to seal 
his seal ? It is a confirmed doctrine already. 

Oh, Luther, when he came into the world first, and dis- 
puted agamst the Decretals, the Clementines, Alexandrines, 
Extravagantines, what ado had he ! But ye will say, perad- 



King Edward the Sixth 183 

venture, be was deceived in some things. I will not take 
upon me to defend him in all points. I will not stand to it 
that all that he wrote was true ; I think he would not sO' 
himself : for there is no man but he may err. He came to 
further and further knowledge : but surely he was a goodly 
instrument. Well, I say, when he preached first, they call 
upon him to do miracles. They were wrought before, and so 
we need to do no miracles. Indeed when the popish prelates 
preached first, they had need of miracles, and the devil 
wrought some in the preaching of purgatory. But what 
kind of miracles these were, all England doth know. : but it 
will not know. A wonderful thing that the people will con- 
tinue in their blindness and ignorance still ! We have great 
utility of the miracles of our Saviour Jesus Christ. He doth 
signify unto us by this wonderful work, that he is Lord a& 
well of the water as of the land. A good comfort for those 
that be on the water, when they be in any tempest or danger,, 
to call upon him. 

The fish here came at his commandment. Here we may 
learn that all things in the water are subject to Christ. Peter 
said, " Sir, we have laboured all night, and have not caught 
one fin ; howbeit at your word we will to it afresh." By this 
it appeareth that the gain, the lucre, the revenues that we 
get, must not be imputed to our labour ; we may not say^ 
" Gramercy labour." It is not our labour, it is our Saviour 
Christ that sendeth us living : yet must we labour, for he 
that said to Peter labour, and he that bade the fishers labour^ 
bids all men to labour in their business. There be some 
people that ascribe their gains, their increase gotten by any 
faculty, to the devil. Is there any, trow ye, in England 
would say so ? Now if any man should come to another, and 
say he got his living by the devil, he would fall out with 
him. There is not a man in England that so saith ; yet is 
there some that think it. For all that get it with false buy- 
ing and selling, with circumvention, with usury, impostures, 
mixed wares, false weights, deceiving their lords and masters ; 
all those that get their goods on this fashion, what do they 
think but that the devil sends them gains and riches ? For 
they be his, being unlawfully gotten : what is this to say 
but that the devil is author of their gains, when they be 
so gotten ? for God inhibits them. Deus non volens iniqui- 
tatem tu es ; " God will no iniquity." These folk are greatly 
deceived. 



184 Sixth Sermon preached before 

There be some, again, impute all to their labours and 
works. Yea, on the holy day they cannot find in their 
hearts to come to the temple to the blessed communion ; 
they must be working at home. These are wide again on 
the other side. And some there be that think, if they work 
nothing at all, they shall have enough : they will have no 
good exercise, but gape, and think God will send meat into 
their mouths. And these are far wide : they must work. 
He bade the fishers work : our Saviour Christ bade Peter 
work : and he that said so to them, says the same to us, 
every man in his art. Benedictio Dei facit divitem ; "The 
blessing of God maketh a man rich." He lets his sun shine 
upon the wicked, as well as upon the good ; he sends riches 
both to good and bad. But this blessing turns to them into 
a malediction and a curse ; it increaseth their damnation. 
St Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, did put an order how 
every man should work in his vocation : Cum esseirius apud 
vos, hoc prcecipiebainus vobis, ut si quis nollet operari is fiec 
edat ; which in our English tongue is : " When I was among 
you," saith he, " I made this ordinance, that whosoever would 
not do the work of his vocation should have no meat." It were 
a good ordinance in a commonweal, that every man should be 
set on work, every man in his vocation. " Let him have no 
meat." Now he saith furthermore, Aiidivimus quosduDi inter 
vos versantes inordi7iate nihil operis facientes, " I hear say 
there be some amongst you that live inordinately." What is 
that word inordinately ? Idly, giving themselves to no occu- 
pation for their living : curiose agentes, curious men, given 
to curiosity, to searching what other men do. St Paul saith, 
" he heard say ; " he could not tell whether it were so or no. 
But he took occasion of hearing say, to set out a good and 
wholesome doctrine : His auteni qui sunt ejusniodi prcecipi- 
mus et obsecramus ; "We command and desire you for the 
reverence of God, if there be any such, that they will do 
the works of their vocation, and go quietly to their occupa- 
tion, and so eat their own bread : " else it is not their own, 
it is other men's meat. Our Saviour Christ, before he began 
his preaching, lived of his occupation ; he was a carpenter, 
and gat his living with great labour. Therefore let no man 
disdain or think scorn to follow him in a mean living, a 
mean vocation, or a common calling and occupation. For as 
he blessed our nature with taking upon him the shape of 
man, so in his doing he blessed all occupations and arts. 



King Edward the Sixth 185 

This is a notable example to signify that he abhors all idle- 
ness. When he was a carpenter, then he went and did the 
work of his calling ; and when he was a preacher, he did 
the work of that calling. He was no unpreaching prelate. 
The bishop of Rome should have learned that at him. And 
these gainers with false arts, what be they ? They are never 
content with what they have, though it be never so much. 
And they that are true dealers are satisfied with that that 
God sends, though it be never so little. Qucestus magnus 
pietas ami aniino sua sorte contento ; " Godliness is great 
gain, it is lucre enough, it is vantage enough, to be content 
with that that God sends." The faithful cannot lack ; the 
unfaithful is ever lacking, though he have never so much. 

I will now make an end. Labores 7na?iuum tuarum, let 
us all labour. Christ teacheth us to labour, yea, the bishop 
of Rome himself, he teacheth him to labour, rather than to 
be head of the church. Let us put our trust in God, Labores 
7nafiuum tuarum^ " Cast thy care upon the Lord, and he 
will nourish thee and feed thee." Again, the prophet saith, 
Nunquam vidi jtistum derelictum, nee semen ejus qucerens 
panern ; "I never saw the righteous man forsaken, nor his 
seed to seek his bread." It is infidelity, infidelity that mars 
all together. 

Well, to my text : Labores manuum tuarwn quia man- 
ducabis, beatus es, et bene tibi erit ; "Because thou eatest 
the labours of thy hands, that God sends thee of thy labour." 
Every man must labour; yea, though he be a king, yet he 
must labour : for I know no man hath a greater labour 
than a king. What is his labour ? To study God's book, to 
see that there be no unpreaching prelates in his realm, nor 
bribing judges ; to see to all estates ; to provide for the poor ; 
to see victuals good cheap. Is not this a labour, trow ye ? 
Thus if thou dost labour, exercising the works of thy voca- 
tion, thou eatest the meat that God sends thee ; and then it 
followeth, Beatus es, "Thou art a blessed man in God's 
favour," et bene tibi erit, " And it shall go well with thee in 
this world," both in body and soul, for God provideth for 
both. How shalt thou provide for thy soul ? Go hear 
sermons. How for the body ? Labour in thy vocation, and 
then shall it be well with thee, both here and in the world to 
come, through the faith and merits of our Saviour Jesus 
Christ : to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be 
praise for ever and ever, world without end. A//ie?i. 



SERMONS PREACHED BEFORE KING 
EDWARD THE SIXTH 

The Seventh Sermon of M. Latimer preached before King 
Edward, April 7iineteenth, 1549. 

QucBcunque scriptasunt, ad nostrum doctrhiam script a sunt. — RoM. xv. 4. 
All things that be written, they be written to be our doctrine. 

By occasion of this text, most honourable audience, I 
have walked this Lent in the broad field of scripture, and 
used my liberty, and entreated of such matters as I thought 
meet for this auditory. I have had ado with many estates, 
even with the highest of all. I have entreated of the duty 
of kings, of the duty of magistrates and judges, of the 
duty of prelates ; allowing that that is good, and disallowing 
the contrary. I have taught that we are all sinners : I think 
there is none of us all, neither preacher nor hearer, but we 
may be amended, and redress our lives : we may all say, 
yea, all the pack of us, Peccavimus cum patribus fiostris, 
*' We have offended and sinned with our forefathers." In 
multis offendimus omnes : there is none of us all but we 
have in sundry things grievously offended almighty God. 
I here entreated of many faults, and rebuked many kinds 
of sins. I intend to-day, by God's grace, to shew you the 
remedy of sin. We be in the place of repentance : now is 
the time to call for mercy, whilst we be in this world. We 
be all sinners, even the best of us all ; therefore it is good 
to hear the remedy of sin. This day is commonly called 
Good- Friday : although every day ought to be with us 
Good-Friday, yet this day we are accustomed specially to 
have a commemoration and remembrance of the passion of 
our Saviour Jesus Christ. This day we have in memory 
his bitter passion and death, which is the remedy of our sin. 
Therefore I intend to entreat of a piece of a story of his 
passion ; I am not able to entreat of all. That I may do 

186 



Seventh Sermon 187 

that the better, and that it may be to the honour of God, 
and the edification of your souls, and mine both, I shall 
desire you to pray, &c. In this prayer I will desire you 
to remember the souls departed, with lauds and praise to 
almighty God, and that he did vouchsafe to assist them at 
the hour of their death : in so doing you shall be put in 
remembrance to pray for yourselves, that it may please God 
to assist and comfort you in the agonies and pains of death. 

The place that I will entreat of is the twenty-sixth chap- 
ter of St Matthew. Howbeit, as I entreat of it, I will bor- 
row part of St Mark, and part of St Luke : for they have 
somewhat that St Matthew hath not ; and especially Luke. 
The text is, Tunc cum venisset Jesus in villain, quce dicitur 
Gethsemani, " Then when Jesus came ; " some have in vil- 
lam, some in agrum, some in prcedium. But it is all one ; 
when Christ came into a grange, into a piece of land, into a 
field, it makes no matter ; call it what ye will. At what 
time he had come into an honest man's house, and there 
eaten his paschal lamb, and instituted and celebrated the 
Lord's supper, and set forth the blessed communion ; then 
when this was done, he took his way to the place where he 
knew Judas would come. It was a solitary place, and thither 
he went with his eleven apostles : for Judas, the twelfth, was 
about his business, he was occupied about his merchandise, 
and was providing among the bishops and priests to come 
with an ambushment of Jews, to take our Saviour Jesu 
Christ. And v/hen he was come into the field or grange, 
this village, or farm-place, which was called Gethsemane, 
there was a garden, saith Luke, into the which he goeth, and 
leaves eight of his disciples without ; howbeit he appointed 
them what they should do : he saith, Sedete hie donee illuc 
vadam et orem ; "Sit you here, whilst I go yonder and 
pray," He told them that he went to pray, to monish 
them what they should do, to fall to prayer as he did. 
He left them there, and took no more with him but three, 
Peter, James, and John, to teach us that a solitary place is 
meet for prayer. Then when he was come into this garden, 
ccepit expavescere, " he began to tremble," insomuch he said, 
Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem, " My soul is heavy 
and pensive even unto death." 

This is a notable place, and one of the most especial and 
chiefest of all that be in the story of the passion of Christ. 
Here is our remedy : here we must have in consideration all 



1 88 Seventh Sermon preached before 

his doings and sayings, for our learning, for our edification, 
for our comfort and consolation. 

First of all, he set his three disciples that he took with 
him in an order, and told them what they should do, saying, 
Sedete hie, et vigilate mecum, et orate ; " Sit here, and pray 
that ye enter not into temptation." But of that I will en- 
treat afterward. Now when he was in the garden, Cxpit 
expavescere, he began to be heavy, pensive, heavy-hearted. 
I like not Origen's playing with this word capit : it was a 
perfect heaviness ; it was such a one as was never seen a 
greater ; it was not only the beginning of a sorrow. These 
doctors, we have great cause to thank God for them, but 
yet I would not have them always to be allowed. They 
have handled many points of our faith very godly ; and we 
may have a great stay in them in many things ; we might 
not well lack them : but yet I would not have men to be 
sworn to them, and so addict, as to take hand over head 
whatsoever they say : it were a great inconvenience so to do. 

Well, let us go forward. He took Peter, James, and 
John, into this garden. And why did he take them with 
him, rather than other ? Marry, those that he had taken 
before, to whom he had revealed in the hill the trans- 
figuration and declaration of his deity, to see the revelation 
of the majesty of his Godhead, now in the garden he revealed 
to the same the infirmity of his manhood : because they had 
tasted of the sweet, he would they should taste also of the 
sour. He took these with him at both times : for two or 
three is enough to bear witness. And he began to be heavy 
in his mind ; he was greatly vexed within himself, he was 
sore afflicted, it was a great heaviness. He had been heavy 
many times before ; and he had suffered great afflictions in 
his soul, as for the blindness of the Jews ; and he was like 
to suffer more pangs of pain in his body. But this pang 
was greater than any that he ever suffered : yea, it was 
a greater torment unto him, I think a greater pain, than 
when he was hanged on the cross ; than when the four nails 
were knocked and driven through his hands and feet ; than 
when the sharp crown of thorns was thrust on his head. 
This was the heaviness and pensiveness of his heart, the 
agony of the spirit. And as the soul is more precious than 
the body, even so is the pains of the soul more grievous 
than the pains of the body : therefore there is another 
which writeth. Horror mortis gravior ipsa morte ; " The 



King Edward the Sixth 189 

horror and ugsomeness of death is sorer than death itself." 
This is the most grievous pain that ever Christ suffered, even 
this pang that he suffered in the garden. It is the most 
notable place, one of them in the whole story of the passion, 
when he said, Anima mea tristis est usque ad mortein, 
" My soul is heavy to death ; " and cum cxpisset expaves 
cere, " when he began to quiver, to shake." The grievous- 
ness of it is declared by this prayer that he made : Pater, 
si possibile est, &■€., " Father, if it be possible, away with 
this cup : rid me of it." He understood by this cup his 
pains of death ; for he knew well enough that his passion 
was at hand, that Judas was coming upon him with the 
Jews to take him. 

There was offered unto him now the image of death ; 
the image, the sense, the feeling of hell : for death and hell 
go both together. I will entreat of this image of hell, which 
is death. Truly no man can shew it perfectly, yet I will do 
the best I can to make you understand the grievous pangs 
that our Saviour Christ was in when he was in the garden. 
As man's power is not able to bear it, so no man's tongue 
is able to express it. Painters paint death like a man with- 
out skin, and a body having nothing but bones. And hell 
they paint with horrible flames of burning fire : they bungle 
somewhat at it, they come nothing near it. But this is no 
true painting. No painter can paint hell, unless he could 
paint the torment and condemnation both of body and soul ; 
the possession and having of all infelicity. This is hell, this 
is the image of death : this is hell, such an evil-favoured 
face, such an uglesome countenance, such an horrible visage 
our Saviour Christ saw of death and hell in the garden. 
There is no pleasure in beholding of it, but more pain than 
any tongue can tell. Death and hell took unto them this 
evil-favoured face of sin, and through sin. This sin is so 
highly hated of God, that he doth pronounce it worthy to 
be punished with lack of all felicity, with the feeling of in- 
felicity. Death and hell be not only the wages, the reward, 
Ihe stipend of sin : but they are brought into the world by 
sin. Per peccatum mors, saith St Paul, "through sin death 
entered into the world." Moses sheweth the first coming in 
of it into the world. Whereas our first father Adam was set 
at liberty to live for ever, yet God inhibiting him from eating 
of the apple, told him : " If thou meddle with this fruit, thou 
and all thy posterity shall fall into necessity of death, from 



190 Seventh Sermon preached before 

ever living : morte morieris, thou and all thy posterity shall 
be subject to death." Here came in death and hell : sin was 
their mother : therefore they must have such an image as 
their mother sin would give them. 

An uglesome thing and an horrible image must it needs 
be, that is brought in by such a thing so hated of God ; yea, 
this face of death and hell is so terrible, that such as have 
been wicked men had rather be hanged than abide it. As 
Achitophel, that traitor to David, like an ambitious wretch, 
thought to have come to higher promotion, and therefore 
conspired with Absolon against his master David : he, 
when he saw his counsel took no place, goes and hangs 
himself, in contemplation of this evil-favoured face of death. 
Judas also, when he came with bushments to take his mas- 
ter Christ, in beholding this horrible face hanged himself. 
Vea, the elect people of God, the faithful, having the be- 
holding of his face, (though God hath always preserved 
them, such a good God he is to them that believe in him, 
that "he will not puffer them to be tempted above that 
that they have been able to bear,") yet for all that, there 
is nothing that they complain more sore than of this..hojror 
of death. Go to Job, what saith he ? Pereat dies in quo 
natus sum, suspendiuni elegit anima mea ; " Wo worth the 
day that I was born in, my soul would be hanged : " saying 
in his pangs almost he wist not what. This was when 
with the eye of his conscience and the inward man he 
beheld the horror of death and hell : not for any bodily 
pain he suffered ; for when he had boils, blotches, blains, 
and scabs, he suffered them patiently : he could say then. Si 
bona suscepi de manu Domitii, &c., " If we have received 
good things of God, why should we not suffer likewise evil ? " 
It was not for any such thing that he was so vexed : 
but the sight of this face of death and hell was offered to 
him so lively, that he would have been out of this world. 
It was this evil-favoured face of death that so troubled him. 
King David also said, in contemplation of this uglesome 
face, Laboravi in geniitu ineo, " I have been sore vexed 
with sighing and mourning." Turbatus est a furore oculus 
meus, " Mine eye hath been greatly troubled in my rage." 
A strange thing ! When he had to fight with Goliath, that 
monstrous giant, who was able to have eaten him, he could 
abide him, and was nothing afraid. And now what a work ! 
What exclamations makes he at the sight of death 1 Jonas 



King Edward the Sixth 191 

likewise was bold enough to bid the shipmen cast him into 
the sea, he had not seen that face and visage : but when he 
was in the whale's belly, and had there the beholding ot 
it, what terror and distress abode he ! Hezekiah, when he 
saw Sennacherib besieging his city on every side most vio- 
lently, was nothing afraid of the great host and mighty 
army that was like to destroy him out of hand ; yet he 
was afraid of death. When the prophet came unto him, 
and said, Dispone domui tuce, inorte morieris et non vives, 
" Set thy house in order, for thou shalt surely die, and not 
live ; " (2 Kings xx.), it struck him so to the heart that he fell 
a-weeping. O Lord, what an horror was this ! There be 
some writers that say, that Peter, James, and John were in 
this feeling at the same time ; and that Peter, when he said, 
Exi a me Domine, quia homo peccator sum, " Depart 
from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man," did taste some 
part of it : he was so astonished, he wist not what to say. 
It was not long that they were in this anguish ; some say 
longer, some shorter : but Christ was ready to comfort them, 
and said to Peter, Ne iimeas, " Be not afraid." A friend of 
mine told me of a certain woman that was eighteen years 
together in it. I knew a man myself, Bilney, little Bilney, 
that blessed martyr of God, what time he had borne his 
fagot, and was come again to Cambridge, had such conflicts 
within himself, beholding this image of death, that his friends 
were afraid to let him be alone : they were fain to be with 
him day and night, and comforted him as they could, but 
no comforts would serve. As for the comfortable places 
of scripture, to bring them unto him it was as though a 
man would run him through the heart with a sword ; yet 
afterward, for all this, he was revived, and took his death 
patiently, and died well against the tyrannical see of Rome. 
Wo will be to that bishop, that had the examination of him, 
if he repented not ! 

Here is a good lesson for you, my friends ; if ever you 
come in danger, in durance, in prison for God's quarrel, 
and his sake, as he did for purgatory-matters, and put to 
bear a fagot for preaching the true word of God against 
pilgrimage, and such like matters, I will advise you first, 
and above all things, to abjure all your friends, all your 
friendships ; leave not one unabjured. It is they that shall 
undo you, and not your enemies. It was his very friends 
that brought Bilney to it. 



192 Seventh Sermon preached before 

By this it may somewhat appear what our Saviour 
Christ suffered ; he doth not dissemble it himself, when he 
saith, " My soul is heavy to death : " he was in so sore 
an agony, that there issued out of him, as I shall entreat 
anon, drops of blood. An ugsome thing surely, which this 
fact and deed sheweth us, what horrible pains he was in 
for our sakes ! But you will say, "How can this be? It 
were possible that I, and such other as be great sinners, 
should suffer such affliction ; the Son of God, what our Sa- 
viour Christ, [who] never sinned, how can this stand that 
he should be thus handled ? He never deserved it." 

Marry, I will tell you how. We must consider our 
Saviour Christ two ways, one way in his manhood, another 
in his Godhead. Some places of scripture must be referred 
to his Deity, and some to his humanity. In his Godhead 
he suffered nothing ; but now he made himself void of his 
Deity, as scripture saith. Cum esset iti forma Dei, exina- 
nivit seipsum, " Whereas he was in the form of God, he 
emptied himself of it, he did hide it, and used himself as 
though he had not had it." He would not help himself with 
his Godhead ; " he humbled himself with all obedience unto 
death, even to the death of the cross:" this was in that 
he was man. He took upon him our sins : not the work 
of sin; I mean not so : not to do it, not to commit it; 
but to purge it, to cleanse it, to bear the stipend of it : 
and that way he was the great sinner of the world. He 
bare all the sin of the world on his back ; he would become 
debtor for it. 

I ^Now to sustain and suffer the dolours of death is not 
to sin : but he came into this world with his passion to purge 
our sins. Now this that he suffered in the garden is one of 
the bitterest pieces of all his passion : this fear of death 
was the bitterest pain that ever he abode, due to sin 
which he never did, but became debtor for us. All this 
he suffered for us ; this he did to satisfy for our sins. It 
is much like as if I owed another man twenty thousand 
pounds, and should pay it out of hand, or else go to the 
dungeon of Ludgate ; and when I am going to prison, one of 
my friends should come and ask, " Whither goeth this man ? "' 
and after he had heard the matter, should say, " Let me 
answer for him, I will become surety for him : yea, I will 
pay all for him." Such a part played our Saviour Christ 
with us. If he had not suffered this, I for my part should 



King Edward the Sixth 193 

have suffered, according to the gravity and quantity of my 
sins, damnation. For the greater the sin is, the greater 
is the punishment in hell. He suffered for you and me, 
in such a degree as is due to all the sins of the whole 
world. It was as if you would imagine that one man had 
committed all the sins since Adam : you may be sure he 
should be punished with the same horror of death, in such 
a sort as all men in the world should have suffered. Feign 
and put case, our Saviour Christ had committed all the sins of 
the world ; all that I for my part have done, all that you for 
your part have done, and that any man else hath done : if he 
had done all this himself, his agony that he suffered should 
have been no greater nor grievouser than it was. This that 
he suffered in the garden was a portion, I say, of his passion, 
and one of the bitterest parts of it. And this he suffered for 
our sins, and not for any sins that he had committed himself: 
for all we should have suffered, every man according to his 
own deserts. This he did of his goodness, partly to purge 
and cleanse our sins, partly because he would taste and feel 
our miseries, guo possit succurrere nobis, " that he should 
the rather help and relieve us ; " and partly he suffered to 
give us example to behave ourselves as he did. He did 
not suffer, to discharge us clean from death, to keep us clean 
from it, not to taste of it. Nay nay, you must not take it so 
We shall have the beholding of this ugsome face every one of 
us ; we shall feel it ourselves. Yet our Saviour Christ did 
suffer, to the intent to signify to us that death is overcome- 
able. We shall indeed overcome it, if we repent, and ac- 
knowledge that our Saviour Jesu Christ pacified with his 
pangs and pains the wrath of the Father ; having a love 
to walk in the ways of God. If we believe in Jesu Christ, 
we shall overcome death : I say it shall not prevail against us. 
Wherefore, whensoever it chanceth thee, my friend, to have 
the tasting of this death, that thou shalt be tempted with this 
horror of death, what is to be done then ? Whensoever thou 
feelest thy soul heavy to death, make haste and resort to this 
garden ; and with this faith thou shalt overcome this terror 
when it cometh. Oh, it was a grievous thing that Christ suf- 
fered here ! O the greatness of this dolour that he suffered 
in the garden, partly to make amends for our sins, and 
partly to deliver us from death ; not so that we should not 
die bodily, but that this death should be a way to a better 
hfe, and to destroy and overcome hell ! Our Saviour Christ 



194 Seventh Sermon preached before 

had a garden, but he had little pleasure in it. You have 
many goodly gardens : I would you would in the midst of 
them consider what agony our Saviour Christ suffered in 
his garden. A goodly meditation to have in your gardens ! 
It shall occasion you to delight no farther in vanities, but 
to remember what he suffered for you. It may draw you 
from sin. It is a good monument, a good sign, a good 
monition, to consider how he behaved himself in this garden. 

Well; he saith to his disciples, "Sit here and pray with 
me." He went a little way off, as it were a stone's cast 
from them, and falleth to his prayer, and saith : Pater, si 
possibile est, transeat a me calix iste ; "Father, if it be 
possible, away with this bitter cup, this outrageous pain." 
Yet after he corrects himself, and says, Veru?itamen non sicut 
ego volo, sed sicut tu vis; "Not my will, but thy will be 
done, O Father." Here is a good meditation for christian 
men at all times, and not only upon Good Friday. Let 
Good Friday be every day to a christian man, to know to 
use his passion to that end and purpose ; not only to read 
the story, but to take the fruit of it. Some men, if they 
had been in this agony, would have run themselves through 
with their swords, as Saul did : some would have hanged 
themselves, as Achitophel did. Let us not follow these men, 
they be no examples for us ; but let us follow Christ, which 
in his agony resorted to his Father with his prayer. This 
must be our pattern to work by. 

Here I might dilate the matter as touching praying to 
saints. Here we may learn not to pray to saints. Christ 
bids us, Ora Patrem qui est in ccclis, " Pray to thy Father 
that is in heaven ; " to the Creator, and not to any creature. 
And therefore away with these avowries ^ : let God alone be 
our avowry. What have we to do to run hither or thither, 
but only to the Father of heaven? I will not tarry to speak 
of this matter. 

Our Saviour Christ set his disciples in an order, and com- 
manded them to watch and pray, saying, Vigilate et orate; 
" Watch and pray." Whereto should they watch and pray ? 
He saith by and by, ne intretis in tentationem, " that ye 
enter not into temptation." He bids them not pray that we 
be not tempted ; for that is as. much to say, as to pray that 
we should be out of this world. There is no man in this 
world without temptation. In the time of prosperity we 
' protectors. 



King Edward the Sixth 195 

are tempted to wantonness, pleasures, and all lightness ; 
in time of adversity, to despair in God's goodness. Tempta- 
tion never ceases. There is a difference between being 
tempted, and entering into temptation. He bids therefore 
not to pray that they be not tempted, but that they "enter 
not into temptation." To be tempted is no evil thing. For 
what is it ? No more than when the flesh, the devil and the 
world, doth solicit and move us against God. To give place 
to these suggestions, and to yield ourselves, and suffer us to 
be overcome with them, this is to enter into temptation. Our 
Saviour Christ knew that they should be grievously tempted, 
and therefore he gave them warning that they should not 
give place to temptation, nor despair at his death : and if 
they chanced to forsake him, or to run away, in case they 
tripped or swerved, yet to come again. 

But our Saviour Christ did not only command his 
disciples to pray, but fell down upon his knees flat upon the 
ground, and prayed himself, sayingi Pater, si fieri potest, 
transeat a me calix iste ; " Father, deliver me of this pang 
and pain that I am in, this outrageous pain." This word, 
" Father," came even from the bowels of his heart, when he 
made his moan; as who should say, "Father, rid me; I am in 
such pain that I can be in no greater ! Thou art my Father, 
I am thy Son. Can the Father forsake his son in such 
anguish?" Thus he made his moan. "Father, take away this 
horror of death from me ; rid me of this pain ; suffer me not 
to be taken when Judas comes ; suffer me not to be hanged 
on the cross ; suffer not my hands to be pierced with nails, 
nor my heart with the sharp spear." A wonderful thing, 
that he should so oft tell his disciples of it before, and now, 
when he cometh to the point, to desire to be rid of it, as 
though he would have been disobedient to the will of his 
Father. Afore he said, he came to suffer ; and now he says, 
away with this cup. Who would have thought that ever this 
gear should have come out of Christ's mouth ? What a case 
is this ! What should a man say ? You must understand, that 
Christ took upon him our infirmities, of the which this was 
one, to be sorry at death. Among the stipends of sin, this 
was one, to tremble at the cross : this is a punishment for 
our sin. 

It goeth otherways with us than with Christ : if we 
were in like case, and in like agony, almost we would curse 
God, or rather wish that there were no God. This that he 



196 Seventh Sermon preached before 

said was not of that sort ; it was referring the matter to the 
will of his Father. But we seek by all means, be it right, be 
it wrong, of our own nature to be rid out of pain : he desired 
it conditionally, as it might stand with his Father's will ; add- 
ing a veruntameti to it. So his request was to shew the 
infirmity of man. Here is now an example what we shall do 
when we are in like case. He never deserved it, we have. 
He had a verutiiamen, and notwithstanding : let us have so 
to. We must have a " nevertheless, thy will be done, and 
not mine : give me grace to be content, to submit my will 
unto thine." His fact teacheth us what to do. This is our 
surgery, our physic, when we be in agony : and reckon upon 
it, friends, we shall come to it; we shall feel it at one time or 
another. 

What doth he now? What came to pass now, when he 
had heard no voice, his Father was dumb? He resorts to his 
friends, seeking some comfort at their hands. Seeing he had 
none at his Father's hand, he cometh to his disciples, and 
finds them asleep. He spake unto Peter, and said, "Ah Peter, 
art thou asleep?" Peter before had bragged stoutly, as though 
he would have killed, (God have mercy upon his soul!) and now, 
when he should have comforted Christ, he was asleep. Not 
once buff nor baff to him : not a word. He was fain to say 
to his disciples, Vigilate et orate, " Watch and pray ; the 
spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak : " he had never a word 
of them again. They might at the least have said, "O Sir, 
remember yourself; are you not Christ ? Came not you into 
this world to redeem sin? Be of good cheer, be of good com- 
fort : this sorrow will not help you ; comfort yourself by 
your own preaching. You have said, Oportet Filiuin hominis 
pad, ' It behoveth the Son of man to suffer.' You have not 
deserved any thing, it is not your fault." Indeed, if they had 
done this with him, they had played a friendly part with him; 
but they gave him not so much as one comfortable word. 
We run to our friends in our distresses and agonies, as though 
we had all our trust and confidence in them. He did not so; 
he resorted to them, but trusted not in them. We will run 
to our friends, and come no more to God ; he returned 
again. What ! Shall we not resort to our friends in time of 
need ? And, trow ye, we shall not find them asleep ? Yes, I 
warrant you : and when we need their help most, we shall 
not have it. But what shall we do, when we shall find lack 
m them ? We will cry out upon them, upbraid them, chide, 



King Edward the Sixth 197 

brawl, fume, chafe, and backbite them. But Christ did not 
so; he excused his friends, saying, Vigilate et orate; spi- 
ritus quidem promptus est, caro autein infirma : " O ! " quoth 
he, " watch and pray : I see well the spirit is ready, but the 
flesh is weak," What meaneth this ? Surely it is a comfort- 
able place. For as long as we live in this world, when we 
be at the best, we have no more but promptitudinem spiri- 
tus cum infirmitate carnis, the readiness of the spirit with 
the infirmity of the flesh. The very saints of God said, 
Velle adest mihi, " My will is good, but I am not able to 
perform it." I have been with some, and fain they would, 
fain they would : there was readiness of spirit, but it would 
not be ; it grieved them that they could not take things as 
they should do. The flesh resisteth the work of the Holy 
Ghost in our hearts, and lets it, lets it. We have to pray 
ever to God. O prayer, prayer ! that it might be used in 
this realm, as it ought to be of all men, and specially of ma- 
gistrates, of counsellors, of great rulers ; to pray, to pray 
that it would please God to put godly policies in their hearts ? 
Call for assistance. 

I have heard say, when that good queen ^ that is gone 
had ordained in her house daily prayer both before noon, 
and after noon, the admiral gets him out of the way, like a 
mole digging in the earth. He shall be Lot's wife to me as 
long as I live. He was, I heard say, a covetous man, a 
covetous man indeed : I would there were no more in 
England ! He was, I heard say, an ambitious man : I would 
there were no more in England ! He was, I heard say, a 
seditious man, a contemner of common prayer : I would there 
were no more in England ! Well : he is gone. I would he 
had left none behind him ! Remember you, my lords, that 
you pray in your houses to the better mortification of your 
flesh. Remember, God must be honoured. I will you to 
pray, that God will continue his Spirit in you. I do not 
put you in comfort, that if ye have once the Spirit, ye cannot 
lose it. There be new spirits start up now of late, that say,, 
after we have received the Spirit, we cannot sin. I will 
make but one argument : St Paul had brought the Galatians 
to the profession of the faith, and left them in that state ; 
they had received the Spirit once, but they sinned again, as 
he testified of them himself: he saith, Currebatis bene ; ye 
were once in a right state : and again, Recepistis Spiritum 
' Catherine Par, who married the lord admiral Seymour. 



198 Seventh Sermon preached before 

ex operibus legis an ex justitia fidei ? Once they had the 
Spirit by faith ; but false prophets came, when he was 
gone from them, and they plucked them clean away from 
all that Paul had planted them in : and then said Paui 
unto them, O stulti Galati, quis vos fascinavitl "O 
foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you ? " If this be 
true, we may lose the Spirit that we have once possessed. 
It is a fond thing : I will not tarry in it. But now to 
the passion again. 

Christ had been with his Father, and felt no help : he 
had been with his friends, and had no comfort : he had prayed 
twice, and was not heard : what did he now ? Did he give 
prayer over ? No, he goeth again to his Father, and saith 
the same again : " Father, if it be possible, away with this 
cup." Here is an example for us, although we be not heard 
at the first time, shall we give over our prayer ? Nay, we 
must to it again. We must be importune upon God. We 
must be instant in prayer. He prayed thrice, and was not 
heard ; let us pray threescore times. Folks are very dull 
now-a-days in prayer, to come to sermons, to resort to 
common prayer. You house-keepers, and especially great 
men, give example of prayer in your houses. 

Well ; did his Father look upon him this second time ? 
No, he went to his friends again, thinking to find some 
comfort there, but he finds them asleep again ; more deep 
asleep than ever they were : their eyes were heavy with 
sleep ; there was no comfort at all ; they wist not what to say 
to him. A wonderful thing, how he was tost from post to 
pillar ; one while to his Father, and was destitute at his 
hand ; another while to his friends, and found no comfort at 
them : his Father gave him looking on, and suffered him to 
bite upon the bridle awhile. Almighty God beheld this 
battle, that he might enjoy the honour and glory ; " that in 
his name all knees should bow, cceJestiujn, terrestrium et in- 
fernorum, in heaven, earth, and hell." This, that the Father 
would not hear his own Son, was another punishment due to 
our sin. When we cry unto him, he will not hear us. The 
prophet Jeremy saith, Clamabunt ad me et ego non exaudiam 
eos ; "They shall cry unto me, and 1 will not hear them." 
These be Jeremy's words : here he threateneth to punish 
sin with not hearing their prayers. The prophet saith, 
'* They have not had the fear of God before their eyes, nor 
have not regarded discipline and correction." I never saw, 



King Edward the Sixth 199 

surely, so little discipline as is now-a-days. Men will be 
masters ; they v/ill be masters and no disciples. Alas, where 
is this discipline now in England ? The people regard no 
discipline ; they be without all order. Where they should 
give place, they will not stir one inch : yea, where magis- 
trates should determine matters, they will break into the 
place before they come, and at their coming not move a whit 
for them. Is this discipline ? Is this good order? If a man 
say anything unto them, they regard it not. They that be 
called to answer, will not answer directly, but scoff the matter 
out. Men the more they know, the worse they be ; it is 
truly said, scientia iiiflat, " knowledge maketh us proud, and 
causeth us to forget all, and set away discipline." Surely in 
popery they had a reverence ; but now we have none at all. 
I never saw the like. This same lack of the fear of God and 
discipline in us was one of the causes that the Father would 
not hear his Son. This pain suffered our Saviour Christ for 
us, who never deserved it. O, what it was that he suffered 
in this garden, till Judas came ! The dolours, the terrors, the 
sorrows that he suffered be unspeakable ! He suffered partly 
to make amends for our sins, and partly to give us example, 
what we should do in like case. What comes of this gear in 
the end? 

Well; now he prayeth again, he resorteth to his Father 
again. Angore correptus prolixius orabat ; he was in sorer 
pains, in more anguish than ever he was ; and therefore he 
prayeth longer, more ardently, more fervently, more vehe- 
mently, than ever he did before. O Lord, what a wonderful 
thing is this ! This horror of death is worse than death itself, 
and is more ugsome, more bitter than any bodily death. 
He prayeth now the third time. He did it so instantly, so 
fervently, that it brought out a bloody sweat, and in such 
plenty, that it dropped down even to the ground. There 
issued out of his precious body drops of blood. What a pain 
was he in, when these bloody drops fell so abundantly from 
him ! Yet for all that, how unthankful do we shew ourselves 
toward hirn that died only for our sakes, and for the remedy 
of our sins \ O what blasphemy do we commit day by day ! 
what little regard have we to his blessed passion, thus to 
swear by God's blood, by Christ's passion ! We have nothing 
in our pastime, but " God's blood," " God's wounds." We 
continually blaspheme his passion, in hawking, hunting, dicing, 
and carding. Who would think he should have such enemies 



200 Seventh Sermon preached before 

among those that profess his name ? What became of his 
blood that fell down, trow ye ? Was the blood of Hales ^ of 
it ? Wo worth it ! What ado was there to bring this out 
of the king's head ! This great abomination, of the blood of 
Hales, could not be taken a great while out of his mind. 

You that be of the court, and especially ye sworn chap- 
lains, beware of a lesson that a great man taught me at my 
first coming to the court : he told me for good-will ; he 
thought it well. He said to me, " You must beware, howsoever 
ye do, that ye contrary not the king ; let him have his say- 
ings ; follow him ; go with him." Marry, out upon this coun- 
sel ! Shall I say as he says ? Say your conscience, or else 
what a worm shall ye feel gnawing ; what a remorse of con- 
science shall ye have, when ye remember how ye have slacked 
your duty ! It is a good wise verse, Gutta cavat lapidem 
non vi sed scepe cadendo ; " The drop of rain maketh a hole 
in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling." Likewise 
a prince must be turned ; not violently, but he must be won 
by a little and a little. He must have his duty told him ; 
but it must be done with humbleness, with request of pardon ; 
or else it were a dangerous thing. Unpreaching prelates 
have been the cause, that the blood of Hales did so long blind 
the king. Wo worth that such an abominable thing should 
be in a christian realm ! But thanks be to God, it was partly 
redressed in the king's days that dead is, and much more 
now. God grant good -will and power to go forward, if there 
be any such abomination behind, that it may be utterly 
rooted up ! 

O how happy are we, that it hath pleased Almighty God 
to vouchsafe that his Son should sweat blood for the redeem- 
ing of our sins ! And, again, how unhappy are we, if we 
will not take it thankfully, that were redeemed so painfully ! 
Alas, what hard hearts have we ! Our Saviour Christ never 
sinned, and yet sweat he blood for our sins. We will not 
once water our eyes with a few tears. What an horrible 
thing is sin ; that no other thing would remedy and pay the 
ransom for it, but only the blood of our Saviour Christ ! 
There was nothing to pacify the Father^s wrath against man, 
but such an agony as he suffered. All the passion of all the 
martyrs that ever were, all the sacrifices of patriarchs that 

' A noted "relic," kept in ihe abbey of Hales in Gloucestershire. 
It was said to be a portion of our Saviour's blood, but when examined 
it was found to be coloured honey. 



King Edward the Sixth 20i 

ever were, all the good works that ever were done, were 
not able to remedy our sin, to make satisfaction for our sins, 
nor anything besides, but this extreme passion and blood- 
shedding of our most merciful Saviour Christ. 

But to draw toward an end. What became of this three- 
fold prayer ? At the length, it pleased God to hear his Son's 
prayer ; and send him an angel to corroborate, to strengthen, 
to comfort him. Christ needed no angel's help, if he had 
listed to ease himself with his deity. He was the Son of 
God : what then ? Forsomuch as he was man, he received 
comfort at the angel's hand ; as it accords to our infirmity. 
His obedience, his continuance, and suffering, so pleased the 
Father of heaven, that for his Son's sake, be he never so 
great a sinner, leaving his sin, and repenting for the same, 
he will owe him such favour as though he had never com- 
mitted any sin. The Father of heaven will not suffer him to 
be tempted with this great horror of death and hell to the 
uttermost, and above that he is able to bear. Look for it, 
my friends, by him and through him, we shall be able to 
overcome it. Let us do as our Saviour Christ did, and we 
shall have help from above, we shall have angels' help : if 
we trust in him, heaven and earth shall give up, rather than 
we shall lack help. He saith he is Adjutor in necessiiatilms, 
"an helper in time of need." 

When the angel had comforted him, and when this horror 
of death was gone, he was so strong, that he offered himself 
to Judas; and said, "I am he." To make an end: I pray 
you take pains : it is a day of penance, as we use to say, give 
me leave to make you weary this day. The Jews had him 
to Caiaphas and Annas, and there they whipped him, and 
beat him : they set a crown of sharp thorns upon his head, 
and nailed him to a tree : yet all this was not so bitter, as 
this horror of death, and this agony that he suffered in the 
garden, in such a degree as is due to all the sins of the 
world, and not to one man's sins. Well ; this passion is our 
remedy ; it is the satisfaction for our sins. 

His soul descended to hell for a time. Here is much 
ado! These new upstarting spirits say, "Christ never de- 
scended into hell, neither body nor soul." In scorn they 
will ask, "Was he there? What did he there?" What if 
we cannot tell what he did there ? The creed goeth no 
further, but saith, he descended thither. What is that to us, 
if we cannot tell, seeing we were taught no further ? Paul 



202 Seventh Sermon preached before 

was taken up into the third heaven ; ask likewise what he 
saw when he was carried thither? You shall not find in 
scripture, what he saw or what he did there : shall we not, 
therefore, believe that he was there ? These arrogant spirits, 
spirits of vain-glory, because they know not by any express 
scripture the order of his doings in hell, they will not believe 
that ever he descended into hell. Indeed this article hath 
not so full scripture, so many places and testimonies of 
scriptures, as others have ; yet it hath enough : it hath two 
or three texts ; and if it had but one, one text of scripture 
is of as good and lawful authority as a thousand, and of as 
certain truth. It is not to be weighed by the multitude of 
texts. I believe as certainly and verily that this realm of 
England hath as good authority to hear God's word, as any 
nation in all the world : it may be gathered by two texts : 
one of them is this ; Ite in universum mundum, et prcedicate 
evangelium omni creaturcz, " Go into the whole world, and 
preach the gospel to all creatures." Again, Deus vult oinnes 
homines salvos fieri, " God will have all men to be saved." 
He excepts not the Englishmen here, nor yet expressly 
nameth them ; and yet 1 am as sure that this realm of 
England, by this gathering, is allowed to hear God's word, 
as though Christ had said a thousand times, " Go preach to 
Englishmen : I will that Englishmen be saved." Because 
this article of his descending into hell cannot be 
gathered so directly, so necessarily, so formally, they utterly 
deny it. 

This article hath scriptures two or three ; enough for 
quiet minds : as for curious brains, nothing can content them. 
This the devil's stirring up of such spirits of sedition is an 
evident argument that the light is come forth ; for his word 
is abroad when the devil rusheth, when he roareth, when he 
stirreth up such busy spirits to slander it. My intent is not 
to entreat of this matter at this time. I trust the people 
will not be carried away with these new arrogant spirits. 
I doubt not, but good preachers will labour against them. 

But now I will say a word, and herein I protest first of 
all, not arrogantly to determine and define it : I will contend 
with no man for it ; I will not have it to be prejudice to any 
body, but I offer it unto you to consider and weigh it. 
There be some great clerks that take my part, and I 
perceive not what evil can come of it, in saying, that our 
Saviour Christ did not only in soul descend into hell, but 



King" lidward the Sixth 203 

also that he suffered in hell such pains as the damned spirits 
did suffer there. Surely, I believe verily, for my part, that 
he suffered the pains of hell proportionably, as it corresponds 
and answers to the whole sin of the world. He would not 
suffer only bodily in the garden and upon the cross, but also 
in his soul when it was from the body ; which was a pain 
due for our sin. Some write so, and I can believe it, that he 
suffered in the very {)lace, and I cannot tell what it is, call 
it what ye will, even in the sfalding-house, in the ugsome- 
ness of the place, in the presence of the place, such pain as 
our capacity cannot attain unto : it is somewhat declared 
unto us, when we utter it by these effects, "by fire, by 
gnashing of teeth, by the worm that gnaweth on the con- 
science." Whatsoever the pain is, it is a great pain that he 
suffered for us. 

I see no inconvenience to say, that Christ suffered in sou 
in hell. I singularly commend the exceeding great charity 
of Christ, that for our sakes would suffer in hell in his soul. 
It sets out the unspeakable hatred that God hath to sin. 
I perceive not that it doth derogate any thing from the 
dignity of Christ's death ; as in the garden, when he suffered, 
it derogates nothing from that he suffered on the cross. 
Scripture speaketh on this fashion : Qui credit in me habet 
-.Htaiii cetcniaiii : " He that believeth in me, hath life ever- 
lasting." Here he sets forth faith as the cause of our justi- 
fication ; in other places, as high commendation is given to 
works : and yet, are the works any derogation from that 
dignity of faith ? No. And again, scripture saith, Traditus 
est propter peccata ?tosfra, et exsuscitatus propter justifi- 
cationeni, &:c. It attributeth here our justification to his 
resurrection ; and doth this derogate any thing from his 
death? Not a whit. It is whole Christ. What with his 
nativity ; what with his circumcision ; what with his incarna- 
tion and the whole process of his life ; with his preaching ; 
what with his ascending, descending ; what with his death ; 
it is all Christ that worketh our salvation. He sitteth on 
the right hand of the Father, and all for us. All this is the 
work of our salvation. I would be as loth to derogate any 
thing from Christ's death, as the best of you all. How 
inestmiably are we bound to him ! What thanks ought we to 
give him for it ! We must have this continually in remem- 
brance : Propter te iiiorti tradiinur tota die, " For thee we 
are in dying continually." The life of a christian man 



204 Seventh Sermon preached before 

is nothing but a readiness to die, and a remembrance oi 
death. 

If this that I have spoken of Christ's suffering in the 
garden, and in hell, derogate any thing from Christ's death 
and passion, away with it ; believe me not in this. If it do 
not, it commends and sets forth very well unto us the per- 
fection of the satisfaction that Christ made for us, and the 
work of redemption, not only before witness in this world, but 
in hell, in that ugsome place ; where whether he suffered or 
wrestled with the spirits, or comforted Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob, I will not desire to know. If ye like not that which I 
have spoken of his suffering, let it go, I will not .strive in it : 
I will be prejudice to no body ; weigh it as ye list. I do but 
offer it you to consider. It is like, his soul did somewhat the 
three days that his body lay in the grave. To say, he suf- 
fered in hell for us, derogates nothing from his death : for 
all things that Christ did before his suffering on the cross, 
and after, do work our salvation. If he had not been incar- 
nate, he had not died : he was beneficial to us with all things 
he did. Christian people should have his suffering for them 
in remembrance. Let your gardens monish you, your pleasant 
gardens, what Christ suffered for you in the garden, and 
what commodity you have by his suffering. It is his will ye 
should so do; he would be had in remembrance. Mix your 
pleasures with the remembrance of his bitter passion. The 
whole passion is satisfaction for our sins ; and not the bare 
death, considering it so nakedly by itself 'I'he manner of 
speaking of scripture is to be considered. It atlributeth our 
salvation now to one thing, now to another that Christ did ; 
where indeed it pertained to all. Our Saviour Christ hath 
left behind him a remembrance of his passu;n, the blessed 
communion, the celebration of the Lord's Supper: alack! 
it hath been long abused, as the sacrifices were before in the 
old law. The patriarchs used sacrifice in the faith of the 
Seed of the woman, which should break the serpent's head. 
The patriarchs sacrificed on hope, and afterward the work 
was esteemed. There come other after, and ihey consider 
not the faith of Abraham and the patnaichs, but do their 
sacrifice according to their own imagination : r\en so came 
it to pass with our blessed coiiunuiiion. In the prnnitive 
church, in places when their Iriends wire de.itl, lhe\ usid to 
come together to the holy i'oiumuiU(,)n. Wluit! to remedy 
them that were deatl ? IS^o, no, a slr.LW ; il was instituted 



King Edward the Sixth 205 

for no such purpose. But then they would call to remem- 
brance God's goodness, and his passion that he suffered for 
us, wherein they comforted much their faith. 

Others came afterward, and set up all these kinds of 
massing, all these kinds of iniquity. What an abomination 
is it, the foulest that ever was, to attribute to man's work 
our salvation ! God be thanked that we have this blessed 
communion set forth so now, that we may comfort, increase, 
and fortify our faith at that blessed celebration ! If he be 
guilty of the body of Christ, that takes it unworthily ; he 
fetcheth great comfort at it, that eats it worthily. He doth 
eat it worthily, that doth eat it in faith. In faith ? in what 
faith ? Not long ago a great man said in an audience, " They 
babble much of faith ; I will go lie with my whore all night, 
and have as good a faith as the best of them all." I think 
he never knew other but the whoremonger's faith. It is no 
such faith that will serve. It is no bribing judge's or 
justice's faith ; no rent-raiser's faith ; no whoremonger's faith ; 
no lease-monger's faith ; nor no seller of benefices' faith ; 
but the faith in the passion of our Saviour Christ. We must 
believe that our Saviour Christ hath taken us again to his 
favour, that he hath delivered us his own body and blood, to 
plead with the devil, and by merit of his own passion, of his 
own mere liberality. This is the faith, I tell you, that we 
must come to the communion with, and not the whore- 
monger's faith. Look where remission of sin is, there is 
acknowledging of sin also. Faith is a noble duchess, she 
hath ever her gentleman-usher going before her, — the con- 
fessing of sins : she hath a train after her, — the fruits of 
good works, the walking in the commandments of God. He 
that believeth will not be idle, he will walk ; he will do his 
business. Have ever the gentleman-usher with you. So if 
ye will try faith, remember this rule, — consider whether the 
train be waiting upon her. If you have another faith than 
this, a whoremonger's faith, you are like to go to the scald- 
ing-house, and there you shall have two dishes, weeping and 
gnashing of teeth. Much good do it you ! you see your fare. 
If ye will believe and acknowledge your sins, you shall come 
to the blessed communion of the bitter passion of Christ 
worthily, and so attain to everlast ng life : to the which the 
Father of heaven bring you and me ! Atnen. 



LAST SERMON PREACHED BEFORE KING 
EDWARD THE SIXTH 

A Most Faithful Sermon preached before the King's Most 
Excellent Majesty and his Most Honourable Council, i?i 
his Court at IVestminster, by the Reverend Father Master 
Hugh Latimer, in Le?it Anno Domini, 1550. 

Videte etcaveteab avaritia. — LuKE xii. 15. 
Take heed and beware of covetousness. 

"Take heed and beware of covetousness." — "Take heed 
and beware of covetousness." — "Take heed and beware of 
covetousness." And what and if I should say nothing else 
these three or four hours (for I know it will be so long, in 
case I be not commanded to the contrary) but these words, 
"Take heed and beware of covetousness?" It would be 
thought a strange sermon before a king, to say nothing else 
but Cavete ab avaritia, " Beware of covetousness." And yet 
as strange as it is, it would be like the sermon of Jonas, that 
he preached to the Ninivites; as touching the shortness, and 
as touching the paucity or fewness of the words. For his 
sermon was, Adhuc quadraginta dies, et Ni?iive subvertetur ; 
" There is yet forty days to come, and Ninive shall be 
destroyed." Thus he walked from street to street, and from 
place to place round about the city, and said nothing else 
but, "There is yet forty days," quoth he, "and Ninive shall 
be destroyed." There is no great odds nor difference, at 
the least-wise in the number of words, no nor yet in the 
sense or meaning, between these two sermons, "There is 
yet forty days, and Ninive shall be destroyed ; " and these 
words that I have taken to speak of this day : "Take heed, 
and beware of covetousness." For Ninive should be destroyed 
for sin, and of their sins covetousness was one, and one 
of the greatest ; so that it is all one in effect. And as they 
be like concerning the shortness, the paucity of words, the 

206 



Last Sermon 207 

brevity of words, and also the meaning and purpose ; so I 
would they might be like in fruit and profit. For what 
came of Jonas's sermon? What was the fruit of.it? Ad 
prcedicationem Jon<z crediderunt Deo; "At the preaching of 
Jonas they believed God." Here was a great fruit, a great 
effect wrought. What is the same ? " They believed God." 
They believed God's preacher, God's officer, God's minister, 
Jonas ; and were converted from their sin. They believed 
that, as the preacher said, if they did not repent and 
amend their life, the city should be destroyed within forty 
days. This was a great fruit : for Jonas was but one man, and 
he preached but one sermon, and it was but a short sermon 
neither, as touching the number of words ; and yet he turned 
all the whole city great and small, rich and poor, king and all. 
We be many preachers here in England, and we preach 
many long sermons, yet the people will not repent nor con- 
vert. This was the fruit, the effect, and the good that his 
sermon did, that all the whole city at his preaching con- 
verted, and amended their evil living ; and did penance in 
sack-cloth. ^And yet here in this sermon of Jonas is no 
great curiousness, no great clerkliness, no great affectation 
of words, nor of painted eloquence ; it was none other but, 
Adhuc quadraginta dies, et Ninive ''subverietur, " Yet forty 
days, et Ninive subverietur, and Ninive shall be destroyed : " 
it was no more. This was no great curious sermon, but this 
was a nipping sermon, a pinching sermon, a biting sermon ; 
it had a full bite, it was a nipping sermon, a rough sermon, 
and a sharp biting sermon. Do you not here marvel that 
these Ninivites cast not Jonas in prison ; that they did not 
revile him, and rebuke him ? They did not revile him, nor 
rebuke him ; but God gave them grace to hear him, and to 
convert and amend at this preaching. A strange matter, 
so noble a city to give place to one man's sermon ! Now 
England cannot abide this gear ; they cannot be content to 
hear God's minister, and his threatening for their sin, though 
the sermon be never so good, though it be never so true. 
It is, a naughty fellow, a seditious fellow ; he maketh trouble 
and rebellion in the realm ; he lacketh discretion. But the 
Ninivites rebuked not Jonas that he lacked discretion, or 
that he spake out of time, that his sermon was out of season 
made : but in England, if God's preacher, God's minister, 
be any thing quick, or do speak sharply, then he is a foolish 
fellow, he is rash, he lacketh discretion. Now-a-days if they 



2o8 Last Sermon preached before 

cannot reprove the doctrine that is preached, then they will 
reprove the preacher, that he lacketh due consideration of 
the times ; and that he is of learning sufficient, but he 
wanteth discretion. "What a time is this, picked out to 
preach such things ! He should have a respect and a regard 
to the time, and to the state of things, and of the common- 
weal." It rejoiceth me sometimes, when my friend cometh 
and telleth me that they find fault with my discretion ; for 
by likelihood, think I, the doctrine is true : for if they could 
find fault with the doctrine, they would not charge me with 
the lack of discretion ; but they would charge me with my 
doctrine, and not with the lack of discretion, or with the 
inconveniency of the time. I will now ask you a question : 
I pray you, when should Jonas have preached against the 
covetousness of Ninive, if the covetous men should have 
appointed him his time ? I know that preachers ought to 
have a discretion in their preaching, and that they ought to 
have a consideration and respect to the place and the time 
that he preacheth in ; as I myself will say here that I would 
not say in the country for no good. But what then ? Sin 
must be rebuked ; sin must be plainly spoken against. And 
when should Jonas have preached against Ninive, if he should 
have forborne for the respects of the times, or the place, or 
the state of things there ? For what was Ninive ? A noble, 
a rich, and a wealthy city. What is London to Ninive ? 
Like a village, as Islington, or such another, in comparison 
of London. Such a city was Ninive, it was three days' 
journey to go through every street of it, and to go but 
from street to street. There were noblemen, rich men, 
wealthy men; there were vicious men, and covetous men, 
and men that gave themselves to all voluptuous living, and 
to worldliness of getting riches. Was this a time well chosen 
and discreetly taken of Jonas, to come and reprove them of 
their sin ; to declare unto them the threatenings of God ; and 
to tell them of their covetousness ; and to say plainly unto 
them, that except they repented and amended their evil 
living, they and their city should be destroyed of God's 
hand within forty days? And yet they heard Jonas and 
gave place to his preaching. They heard the threatenings 
of God, and feared his stroke and vengeance, and believed 
God: that is, they believed God's preacher and minister; 
they believed that God would be true of his word that he 
spake by the mouth of his prophet, and thereupon did 



King Edward the Sixth 209 

penance, to turn away the wrath of God from them. Well, 
what shall we say ? I will say this, and not spare : Christ 
saith, Ninive shall arise against the Jews at the last day, 
and bear witness against them; because that they, hearing 
God's threatening for sin, ad prczdicationem /once in cinere 
et sacco egerunt pcenitentiam, "They did penance at the 
preaching of Jonas in ashes and sackcloth," (as the text saith 
there :) and I say, Ninive shall arise against England, thou 
England ; Ninive shall arise against England, because it will 
not believe God, nor hear his preachers that cry daily unto 
them, nor amend their lives, and especially their covetousness. 
Covetousness is as great a sin now as it was then : and it 
is the same sin now it was then : and he will as sure strike 
for sin now, as he did then. 

But ah, good God, that would give them a time of 
repentance after his threatenings ! First, to see whether 
they would amend or not, or he would destroy them. For 
even from the beginning of the world they fell to sin. The 
first age from Adam, which was about two thousand years, 
they fell ever to sin, and they had preachers, Noe and 
Enoch, and other holy fathers. And in that time a great 
multiplication was that grew in two thousand years ; for 
that scripture saith, " The sons of God saw the daughters 
of men that they were fair, and they took them wives from 
among all that they had chosen." This is a long matter to 
speak of all. But what meaneth this, " the sons of God saw 
the daughters of men ? " Who were these sons of God ? The 
sons of God were those that came of the good men, of the 
good preachers, of the holy fathers, that were God's men ; 
as they that came of Seth and Enos, that were good men, 
and of others. For our grandmother Eve, when Cain had 
killed Abel, and when she had another son by Adam, who 
was called Seth, what did she? She gave thanks to God 
for him, and acknowledged that God it was which had given 
him unto her ; for she said, Dedit niihi Deus semen pro Abel 
quem occidit Cain : " God," said she, " hath given me another 
seed instead of Abel whom Cain slew." Here is a long 
matter to talk on. Some will say. Was this a natural 
mother, was this naturally done, to publish the sin of her 
own son ? What needed she to speak of that matter, or to 
make any rehearsal of that matter, to open the sin of her 
son? What needed she this to do? Yes, she was now a 
good woman : when she believed the serpent, she was not 



2IO Last Sermon preached before 

good. But now she had repented that deed, and had taken 
hold of the promise of God, that there should come of her 
a seed that should tread down and destroy the head of the 
serpent. She had taken hold of this promise, and was now 
a good woman, and a godly woman ; she opened the fault 
of her son, and hid it not. Here could I say somewhat to 
them, if I would, that spake so much against me. for my 
preaching here the last year. But to return to Eve, and 
edclare that the sons of God are to be understood those 
that came of good men, as of Seth and Enos, and the same 
good part of generation. And the daughters of men are 
to be understood of them that came of Cain and of his seed : 
and therefore our grandmother Eve bade beware of marrying 
with Cain's seed, for fear of falling from God to wickedness 
thereby. 

And here I would say a thing to your Majesty : I shall 
speak it of good will to your highness : I would I were able 
to do your Grace good service in any thing, ye should be 
sure to have it. But I will say this : for God's love beware 
where you marry ; choose your wife in a faithful stock. 
Beware of this worldly policy ; marry in God : marry not 
for the great respect of alliance, for thereof cometh all these 
evils of breaking of wedlock, which is among princes and 
noblemen. And here I would be a suitor unto your majesty ; 
for I come now rather to be a suitor and a petitioner, than 
a preacher ; for I come now to take my leave, and to take 
my ultimum vale, at leastwise in this place ; for I have not 
long to live, so that I think I shall never come here into this 
place again ; and therefore I will ask a petition of your 
highness. For the love of God, take an order for marriages 
here in England. For here is marriage for pleasure and 
voluptuousness, and for goods ; and so that they may join 
land to land, and possessions to possessions : they care for no 
more here in England. And that is the cause of so much 
adultery, and of so much breach of wedlock in the noblemen 
and gentlemen, and so much divorcing. And it is not now 
in the noblemen only, but it is come now to the inferior sort. 
Every man, if he have but a small cause, will cast off his 
old wife, and take a new, and will marry again at his 
pleasure ; and there be many that have so done. I would 
therefore wish that there were a law provided in this behalf 
for adulterers, and that adultery should be punished with 
death j and that might be a remedy for all this matter. 



King Edward the Sixth 211 

There would not be then so much adultery, whoredom, and 
lechery in England as there is. For the love of God take 
heed to it, and see a remedy provided for it. I would wish 
that adultery should be punished with death ; and that the 
woman being an offender, if her husband would be a suitor 
for her, she should be pardoned for the first time, but not for 
the second time : and the man, being an offender, should be 
pardoned if his wife be a suitor for him the first time, but 
not for the second time, if he offend twice. If this law were 
made, there would not be so much adultery nor lechery used 
in the realm as there is. Well, I trust once yet, as old as I 
am, to see the day that lechery shall be punished : it was 
never more need, for there was never more lechery used in 
England than is at this day, and maintained. It is made 
but a laughing matter, and a trifle ; but it is a sad matter, 
and an earnest matter ; for lechery is a great sin : Sodome 
and Gomorre was destroyed for it. And it was one of the 
sins reigning in Ninive, for which it should have been de- 
stroyed. But think you that lechery was alone ? No, no, 
coveteousness was joined with it. Covetousness foUoweth 
lechery, and commonly they go together. For why ? They 
that be given to voluptuousness, and to the vice of lechery, 
must have wherewith to maintain it ; and that must be 
gotten by covetousness. For at the first when men fell to 
sin, and chiefly to lechery, wherefore the world should be 
destroyed, the book saith, " There were giants in the earth 
in those days : and after that the sons of God had come to 
the daughters of men, and there had engendered with them, 
the same became mighty men of the world, and men of 
renown," &c. This is covetousness ; for the book saith, 
Terra erat repleta iniquitate, " The earth was replete with 
iniquity ; " for they oppressed the poor. They made them 
slaves, peasants, villains, and bond-men unto them. These 
were giants, so called of the property of giants, for they 
oppress the weak, and take from them what they list by 
force, violence, and oppression. They were giants of the 
property of giants, not that they were greater men of stature 
and strength of body than other men were. For certain 
writers speaking of this matter say, that they were giants 
for their cruelty and covetous oppression, and not in stature 
or procerity of body. For there is no reason why Seth's 
children could beget on Cain's daughters greater men than 
others were in stature of body. But they were giants in 



212 Last Sermon preached before 

the property of giants, for oppressing of others by force and 
violence. And this was covetousness, wherewith God was 
so displeased, that he repented that he had made men, and 
resolved utterly to destroy the world ; and so called to Noe, 
and told him of it. " And I will not dispute the matter with 
them," saith God, "from day to day, and never the near; but 
if they will not amend within an hundred and twenty years, 
I shall bring in an universal flood over their ears, and de- 
stroy them all." This was preached by Noe to them ; and 
so that God of his goodness, patience, and long-sufterance, 
gave them a time to repent and amend after his threatenings, 
because they should see their evil doings, and return to God. 
So they had an hundred and twenty years to repent. This 
Noe was laughed to scorn ; they, like dodipoles, laughed 
their godly father to scorn. 

Well, ye think little of the history : if ye will know the 
meaning of it, it is a great shew what anger God hath to sin. 
But how long time hast thou, England, thou England ? I 
cannot tell, for God hath not revealed it unto me ; if he had, 
so God help me, I would tell you of it ; I would not be 
afraid, nor spare to tell it you, for the good-will I bear you : 
but I cannot tell how long time ye have, for God hath not 
opened it unto me. But I can tell you, that this lenity, this 
long forbearing and holding of his hand, provoketh us to 
repent and amend. And I can tell, that whosoever con- 
temneth this riches and treasure of God's goodness, of his 
mercy, his patience and long-suffering, shall have the more 
grievous condemnation. This I can tell well enough ; Paul 
telleth me this : and I can tell that ye have time to repent 
as long as you live here in this world ; but after this life I 
can make no warrant of any further time to repent. There- 
fore repent and amend while ye be here ; for when ye are 
gone hence, ye are past that. But how long that shall be, 
whether to-morrow or the next day, or twenty years, or how 
long, I cannot tell. But in the mean time ye have many 
Jonases to tell you of your faults, and to declare unto you 
God's threatenings, except ye repent and amend. 

Therefore, to return to my matter, I say as I said at the 
beginning, Videte et cavete ab avaritia. Videte, " see it : " 
first see it, and then amend it. For I promise you, great 
complaint there is of it, and much crying out, and much 
preaching, but none amendment that I see. But cavete ab 
avaritia, " Beware of covetousness." And why of covetous- 



King Edward the Sixth 213 

ness ? Quia radix est omnium malorum avaritia et cupidi- 
tas, "For covetousness is the root of all evil and of all 
mischief." This saying of Paul took me away from the 
gospel that is read in the church this day, and it took me 
from the epistle, that I would preach upon neither of them 
both at this time. I cannot tell what ailed me ; but (to tell 
you my imperfection) when I was appointed to preach here, 
I was new come out of a sickness, whereof I looked to have 
died, and weak I was : yet nevertheless, when I was ap- 
pointed unto it, I took it upon me, howbeit I repented after- 
ward that I had so done. I was displeased with myself: I 
was testy, as Jonas was when he should go preach to the 
Ninivites, Well, I looked on the gospel that is read this 
day : but it liked me not. I looked on the epistle : tush, I 
could not away with that neither. And yet I remember I 
had preached upon this epistle once afore king Henry the 
Eighth ; but now I could not frame with it, nor it liked me 
not in no sauce. Well, this saying of Paul came into my 
mind, and at last I considered and weighed the matter deeply, 
and then thought I thus with myself : Is covetousness the 
root of all mischief and of all evil ? Then have at the root, 
and down with all covetousness. So this place of Paul brought 
me to this text of Luke, " See and beware of covetousness." 
Therefore, you preachers, out with your swords and strike 
at the root. Speak against covetousness, and cry out upon 
it. Stand not ticking and toying at the branches nor at 
the boughs, for then there will new boughs and branches 
spring again of them ; but strike at the root, and fear not 
these giants of England, these great men and men of power, 
these men that are oppressors of the poor ; fear them not, 
but strike at the root of all evil, which is mischievous 
covetousness. For covetousness is the cause of rebellion. 
I have forgotten my logic, but yet I can jumble at a syllogism, 
and make an argument of it, to prove it by. Covetousness 
is the root of all evil : rebellion is an evil : ergo, covetousness 
is the root of rebellion. And so it was indeed. Covetous- 
ness was the cause of rebellion this last summer ^ ; and both 
parties had covetousness, as well the gentlemen as the 
commons. Both parties had covetousness, for both parties 
had an inordinate desire to have that they had not : and that 
is covetousness, an inordinate desire to have that one 
hath not. 

' The rebellions in Norfolk and Devon. 



214 Last Sermon preached before 

The commons would have had from the gentlemen such 
things as they desired : the gentlemen would none of it ; 
and so was there covetousness on both sides. The commons 
thouglit they had a right to the things that they inordinately 
sought to have. But what then ? They must not come to 
it that way. Now on the other side, the gentlemen had a 
desire to keep that they had, and so they rebelled too against 
the king's commandment, and against such good order as he 
and his council would have set in the realm. And thus both 
parties had covetousness, and both parties did rebel. I heard 
say that there were godly ordinances devised for the redress 
of it. But the giants would none of it in no sauce. I 
remember mine ownself a certain giant, a great man, who sat 
in commission about such matters ; and when the townsmen 
should bring in what had been inclosed, he frowned and 
chafed, and so near looked, and threatened the poor men, 
that they durst not ask their right. 

I read of late in an Act of Parliament ; and this act 
made mention of an Act that was in king Henry's days, the 
third I trow it was ; yea, and such another business there was 
in king Edward's time, the second also. In this Parliament 
that I speak of, the gentlemen and the commons were at 
variance, as they were now of late. And there the gentlemen 
that were landlords would needs have away much lands from 
their tenants ; and would needs have an Act of Parliament, 
that it might be lawful for them to inclose and make several 
from their tenants, and from the commons, such portions 
of their lands as they thought good. Much ado there was 
about this Act : at last it was concluded and granted that 
they might so do ; provided alway, that they should leave 
sufficient to the tenant. Well ; it was well that they were 
bound to leave sufficient for them. But who should be the 
judge to limit what was sufficient for#hem? Or who shall 
now judge what is sufficient ? Well ; I for my part cannot 
tell what is sufficient. But methought it was well that the 
tenants and poor commons should have sufficient. For if they 
had sufficient, thought I, they had cause to be quiet. And 
then fell I to make this argument within myself: if at that 
time it were put in their will and power that they might 
inclose, leaving to the tenant that were sufficient for him ; if 
they had it then in their power, thought I, that they might 
this do, they would leave no more than sufficient. If they 
left to the tenants and poor commons no more in those days 



King Edward the Sixth 215 

but sufficient ; then if they had any more taken from them 
since that time, then had they now not sufficient. 

They in Christ are equal with you. Peers of the realm 
must needs be. The poorest ploughman is in Christ equal 
with the greatest prince that is. Let them, therefore, have 
sufficient to maintain them, and to find them their necessaries. 
A plough-land must have sheep; yea, they must have sheep 
to dung their ground for bearing of cOrn ; for if they have 
no sheep to help to fat the ground, they shall have but bare 
corn and thin. They must have swine for their food, to 
make their veneries or bacon of : their bacon is their veni- 
son, for they shall now have hangum tuum, if they get any 
other venison ; so that bacon is their necessary meat to feed 
on, which they may not lack. They must have other cattle : 
as horses to draw their plough, and for carriage of things to 
the markets ; and kine for their milk and cheese, which they 
must live upon and pay their rents. , These cattle must have 
pasture, which pasture if they lack, the rest must needs fail 
them : and pasture they cannot have, if the land be taken in, 
and inclosed from them. So, as I, said, there was in both 
parts rebellion. Therefore, for God's love, restore their suf- 
ficient unto them, and search no more what is the cause of 
rebellion. But see and " beware of covetousness ; " for covet- 
ousness is the cause of rebellion. Well now, if covetousness 
be the cause of rebellion, then preaching against covetousness 
is not the cause of rebellion. Some say, that the preaching 
now-a-days is the cause of all sedition and rebellion : for since 
this new preaching hath come in, there hath been much sedi- 
tion ; and therefore it must needs be that the preaching is 
the cause of rebellion here in England. Forsooth, our preach- 
ing is the cause of rebellion, much like as Christ was the 
cause of the destruction of Jerusalem. For, saith Christ, Si 
non venissem et locutus fuissem eis, pecchtum non haberent, 
&c. " If I had not come," saith Christ, " and spoken to them, 
they should have no sin." So we preachers have come and 
spoken to you : we have drawn our swords of God's word, 
and stricken at the roots of all evil to have them cut down ; 
and if ye will not amend, what can we do more ? And preach- 
ing is the cause of sedition here in England, much like as 
Elias was the cause of trouble in Israel ; for he was a preacher 
there, and told the people of all degrees their faults, and so 
they winced and kicked at him, and accused him to Achab 
the king, that he was a seditious fellow, and a troublous 



2i6 Last Sermon preached before 

preacher, and made much uproar in the realm. So the king 
sent for him, and he was brought to Achab the king, who 
said unto him, "Art thou he that troubleth all Israel?" And 
Elias answered, and said, " Nay, thou and thy father's house 
are they that trouble all Israel." Elias had preached God's 
word ; he had plainly told the people of their evil doings ; 
he had shewed them God's threatenings. In God's behalf I 
speak : there is neither king, nor empefor, be they never in 
so great estate, but they are subject to God's word ; and 
therefore he was not afraid to say to Achab, " It is thou and 
thy father's house that causeth all the trouble in Israel." 
Was not this presumptuously spoken to a king ? Was not 
this a seditious fellow? Was not this fellow's preaching a 
cause of all the trouble in Israel ? Was he not worthy to 
be cast in Bocardo or Little-ease? No, but he had used 
God's sword, which is his word, and done nothing else that 
was evil ; but they could not abide it* He never disobeyed 
Achab's sword, which was the regal power : but Achab dis- 
obeyed his sword, which was the word of God. And there- 
fore by the punishment of God much trouble arose in the 
realm for the sins of Achab and the people. But God's 
preacher, God's prophet, was not the cause of the trouble. 
Then is it not we preachers that trouble England. 

But here is now an argument to prove the matter against 
the preachers. Here was preaching against covetousness all 
the last year in Lent, and the next summer followed re- 
bellion; ergo, preaching against covetousness was the cause 
of the rebellion. A goodly argument ! Here now I remem- 
ber an argument of Master More's, which he bringeth in 
a book that he made against Bilney : and here by the way 
I will tell you a merry toy. Master More was once sent 
in commission into Kent, to help to try out, if it might be, 
what was the cause of Goodwin sands, and the shelf that 
stopped up Sandwich haven. Thither cometh Master More, 
and calleth the country afore him, such as were thought to 
be men of experience, and men that could of likelihood best 
certify him of that matter concerning the stopping of Sand- 
wich haven. Among others came in before him an old man, 
with a white head, and one that was thought to be little less 
than an hundred years old. When Master More saw this 
aged man, he thought it expedient to hear him say his mind 
in this matter ; for, being so old a man, it was likely that he 
knew most of any man in that presence and company. So 



King Edward the Sixth 217 

Master More called this old aged man unto him, and said : 
" Father," said he, "tell me, if ye can, what is the cause of 
this great arising of the sands and shelves here about this 
haven, the which stop it up that no ships can arrive here ? 
Ye are the eldest man that I can espy in all this company, 
so that ^f any man can tell any cause of it, ye of likelihood 
can say most in it ; or at leastwise more than any other man 
here assembled." " Yea, forsooth, good master," quoth this 
old man, " for I am well-nigh an hundred years old, and no 
man here in this company any thing near unto mine age." 
'• Well then," quoth Master More, " how say you in this 
matter? What think ye to be the cause of these shelves 
and flats that stop up Sandwich haven?" "Forsooth, sir," 
quoth he, " I am an old man ; I think that Tenterton steeple 
is the cause of Goodwin sands. For I am an old man, sir," 
quoth he, "and I may remember the building of Tenterton 
steeple ; and I may remember when there was no steeple at 
all there. And before that Tenterton steeple was in build- 
ing, there was no manner of speaking of any flats or sands 
that stopped the haven ; and therefore I think that Tenterton 
steeple is the cause of the destroying and decay of Sandwich 
haven." And even so, to my purpose, is preaching of God's 
word the cause of rebellion, as Tenterton steeple was cause 
Sandwich haven is decayed. And is not this a gay matter, 
that such should be taken for great wise men that will thus 
reason against the preacher of God's word ? 

But here I would take an occasion by the way ot a 
digression to speak somewhat to my sisters, the women, to 
do them some good too ; because I would do all folks good 
if I could, before I take my ultimum vale, at leastwise here 
of this place : for I think I shall no more come here ; for I 
think I have not long to live; so that I judge I take my 
leave now of the court for ever, and shall no more come in 
of this place. Achab was a king, but Jesabel, Jesabel she 
was the perilous woman. She would rule her husband, the 
king ; she would bear a stroke in all things, and she would 
order matters as pleased her. And so will many women do ; 
they will rule their husbands, and do all things after their 
own minds. They do therein against the order by God 
appointed them : they break their injunction that God gave 
unto them. Yea, it is now come to the lower sort, to mean 
men's wives ; they will rule and apparel themselves gorge- 
ously, and some of them far above their degrees, whether 



2i8 Last Sermon preached before 

their husbands will or no. But they break their injunction, 
and do therein contrary to God's ordinance. God saith, 
Subdita eris sub potestate viri ; "Thou shalt be subject 
under the power of thy husband." Thou shalt be subject. 
Women are subjects ; ye be subjects to your husbands. At 
the first, the man and the woman were equal. But after 
that she had given credit to the serpent, then she had an 
injunction set upon her : Subdita eris sub potestate viri, 
"Thou shalt be subject under the power of thy husband." 
And as for one part of her injunction she taketh ; and she 
taketh one part of her penance, because she cannot avoid 
it, and that is, In dolore paries, " Thou shalt bring forth 
children with pain and travail." This part of their injunction 
they take, and yet is the same so grievous, that Chrysostom 
saith, if it were not for the ordinance of God, which cannot 
be made frustrate by man, they would never come to it 
again for no worldly good. But God hath provided herein : 
and as Christ saith in the gospel, Mulier cum parit tristi- 
tiam habet, &c., " The woman when she beareth a child hath 
sorrow, but afterward she remembereth not the pain, because 
there is a soul brought forth into the world." But as it is 
a part of your penance, ye women, to travail in bearing your 
children ; so it is a part of your penance to be subjects unto 
your husbands : ye are underlings, underlings, and must be 
obedient. But this is now made a trifle and a small matter : 
and yet it is a sad matter, a godly matter, a ghostly matter, 
a matter of damnation and salvation. And Paul saith, that 
"a woman ought to have a power on her head." What is- 
this, " to have a power on her head ? " It is a manner of speak, 
ing of the scripture ; and to have her power on her head 
is to have a sign and token of power, which is by covering 
of her head, declaring that she hath a superior above her, 
by whom she ought to be ruled and ordered : for she is not 
immediately under God, but mediately. For by their in- 
junction, the husband is their head under God, and they 
subjects unto their husbands. But this "power" that some 
of them have is disguised gear and strange fashions. They 
must wear French hoods, and I cannot tell you, I, what to 
call it. And when they make them ready and come to the 
covering of their head, they will call and say, " Give me my 
French hood, and give me my bonnet, or my cap ; " and so 
forth. I would wish that the women would call the covering 
of their heads by the terms of the scripture : as when she 



King Edward the Sixth 219 

would have her cap, I would she would say, " Give me my 
power." I would they would learn to speak as the Holy 
Ghost speaketh, and call it by such a name as St Paul doth. 
I would they would (as they have much pricking ^), when 
they put on their cap, I would they would have this medita- 
tion : " I am now putting on my power upon my head." If 
they had this thought in their minds, they would not make 
so much pricking up of themselves as they do now-a-days. 
But now here is a vengeance devil : we must have our power 
from Turkey, of velvet, and gay it must be ; far fetched, 
dear bought ; and when it cometh, it is a false sign. I had 
rather have a true English sign, than a false sign from Turkey. 
It is a false sign when it covereth not their heads as it should 
do. For if they would keep it under the power as they ought 
to do, there should not any such tussocks nor tufts be seen 
as there be ; nor such laying out of the hair, nor braiding to 
have it open. I would marvel of it, how it should come to 
be so abused, and so far out of order ; saving that I know 
by experience that many will not be ruled by their husbands, 
as they ought to be. I have been desired to exhort some, 
and with some I could do little in that matter. But there 
be now many Adams that will not displease their wives, but 
will in this behalf let them have all their own minds, and do 
as them listeth. And some others again there be now-a-days 
that will defend it, and say it may be suffered well enough, 
because it is not expressed in scripture, nor spoken of by 
name. Though we have not express mention in scripture 
against such laying of the hair in tussocks and tufts, yet 
we have in scripture express mention de tortis crinibus, of 
wreathen hair ; that is, for the nonce forced to curl. But of 
these tussocks that are laid out now-a-days there is no men- 
tion made in scripture, because they were not used in scrip- 
ture-time. They .were not yet come to be so far out of 
order as to lay out such tussocks and tufts. But I will tell 
thee, if thou wilt needs lay it out, or if thou wilt needs shew 
thy hair, and have it seen, go and poll thy head, or round it, 
as men do ;, for to what pur{)ose is it to pull it out so, and to 
lay it out ? Some do it, say they, of a simplicity : some do 
it of a pride ; and some of other causes. But they do it 
because they will be quarter -master with their husbands. 
Quarter-masters ? Nay, half-masters ; yea, some of them will 
be whole masters, and rule the roast as they list themselves. 
' Dressing for shew, making a parade. 



220 Last Sermon preached before 

But these defenders of it will not have it evil, because it 
is not spoken of in scripture. But there be other things as 
evil as this, which are not spoken of in scripture expressly ; 
but they are implied in scripture, as well as though they 
were expressly spoken of. For the prophet Isaiah saith : 
V(B qui consurgitis mane ad comessandum, ad ebrietatem 
sectandam et potando usque ad vesperam, ut vino cestuetis. 
"Wo unto you that arise early in the morning, and go to 
drinking until night, that ye may swim in wine." This is the 
scripture against banqueting and drunkenness. But now 
they banquet all night, and lie a-bed in the day-time till 
noon, and the scripture speaketh nothing of that. But what 
then ? The devil hath his purpose this way, as well as the 
other : he hath his purpose as well by revelling and keeping 
ill rule all night, as by rising early in the morning and ban- 
queting all day. So the devil hath his purpose both ways. 
Ye noblemen, ye great men, I wot not what rule ye keep. 
For God's sake, hear the complaints and suits of the poor. 
Many complain against you, that ye lie a-bed till eight, or 
nine, or ten of the clock. I cannot tell what revel ye have 
over-night ; whether in banqueting, or dicing, or carding, or 
how it is ; but in the morning when poor suitors come to 
your houses, ye cannot be spoken withal : they are kept 
sometimes without your gates, or if they be let into the hall, 
or some outer chamber, out cometh one or other, " Sir, ye 
cannot speak with my lord yet ; my lord is asleep ; or he 
hath had business of the king's all night," &c. And thus 
poor suitors are driven off from day to day, that they cannot 
speak with you in three, or four days, yea, a whole month : 
what shall I say more ? yea, a whole year sometimes, ere 
they can come to your speech, to be heard of you. For 
God's love look better to it. Speak with poor men when 
they come to your houses ; and despatch poor suitors, as 
indeed some noblemen do ; and would Christ that all noble- 
men would so do ! -But some do. I went one day myself 
betime in the morning to a great man's house to speak with 
him in business that I had of mine own. And methought 
I was up betimes ; but when I came thither, the great man 
was gone forth about such affairs as behoved him, or I came. 
Well ; yet, thought I, this is well, I like this well : this man 
doth somewhat regard and consider his office and duty. I 
came too late for mine own matter, and lost my journey, and 
my early rising too : and yet I was glad that I had been so 



King Edward the Sixth 221 

beguiled. For God's love follow this example, ye great men, 
and arise in the mornings, and be ready for men to speak 
with them, and to despatch suitors that resort unto you. But 
all these I bring to disprove them that defend evil things, 
because they be not expressly spoken against in the scripture. 
But what forceth that, when the devil hath his purpose, and 
is served as well one way as another way ? Though it be not 
expressly spoken against in scripture, yet I reckon it plainly 
enough implied in the scripture. 

But now to come to my matter again : Videte et cavete 
ab avaritia; " See and beware of covetousness : " and I shall 
desire you to consider four things: Quis dicat ; quid dicat ; 
cut dicat; et quare dicat: "Who speaketh it; what he 
speaketh ; to whom he speaketh ; and wherefore he speak- 
eth it." As here, Christ speaketh to a rich man against 
avarice. And why against avarice ? What shall be the 
end of all covetous persons ? Eternal damnation. " For 
the covetous persons," saith Paul, " shall not possess nor 
enter into the kingdom of God." Here therefore I shall 
desire you to pray, &c. 



The Second Part of the Sermon. 

Videte et cavete ab avaritia. 
See and beware of covetousness. 

First, who spake these words? Forsooth, Christ spake 
them. If I had spoken them of myself, it had been little 
worth ; but Christ spake them, and upon a good occasion. 
The story is. Duo litigabant inter se, "There were two 
at strife between themselves ; " and by this it appeareth that 
Christ spake them. Well, Christ spake these words at that 
time ; and now he speaketh them by his preacher, whom ye 
ought to believe ; and so it is all one. But upon what 
occasion did he speak it ? There were two brethren at strife 
together for lands, wealthy men, as it appeareth, and the 
rich fellow would not tarry till Christ had ended his sermon, 
but interrupted it, and would needs have his matter de- 
spatched by and by. He was at Christ's sermon, but yet 
he would not defer his worldly cause till Christ had made 
an end of his godly exhortation. This was a thorny brother ; 



222 Last Sermon preached before 

he was a gospeller ; he was a carnal gospeller (as many be 
now-a-days for a piece of an abbey, or for a portion of 
chantry-lands) to get somewhat by it, and to serve his 
commodity. He was a gospeller ; one of the new brethren ; 
somewhat worse than a rank papist. Howbeit, a rank papist 
now-a-days shall sooner have promotion than a true gospeller 
shall have : the more is the pity. But this was a thorny 
gospeller : he heard Christ's preaching and followed him for 
company, and heard his words ; but he was never the better 
for it ; but the care of the world so choked the word of God 
in him, that he could not hear the sermon to the end, but 
interrupted the sermon for his worldly matter, ere it were all 
done. And what was Christ then doing ? Forsooth he was 
sowing of good seed, but it fell upon stony ground, so that it 
could not take any root in this fellow, to bring forth good 
fruit in him. And let me tell you of the seed that Christ 
was then sowing : bear with me awhile ; and seeing that I 
come now to take my ultimum vale of this place, hear me 
patiently, and give me leave a little while, and let me take 
my leave honestly. At the time when this fellow interrupted 
Christ's sermon, he was preaching a long sermon to his 
disciples, and to the people, being gathered together in a 
wonderful great multitude, as appeareth in the twelfth 
chapter of St Luke's gospel : and there he first of all taught 
his disciples a good lesson, saying, Cavete vobis a fermento 
PhariscKorum : "Beware in any wise," saith he, "of the 
leaven of the Pharisees." What is this leaven of the 
Pharisees ? Leaven is sometimes taken for corrupt living, 
which infecteth others by the evil example thereof; and 
against such corrupt living God's preacher must cry out 
earnestly, and never cease till it be rooted up. Li the city of 
Corinth one had married his step-mother, his father's wife : 
and he was a jolly fellow, a great rich man, an alderman of 
the city ; and therefore they winked at it, they would not 
meddle in the matter, they had nothing to do with it : and 
he was one of the head men, of such rule and authority, that 
they durst not, many of them. But St Paul, hearing of the 
matter, writ unto them, and in God's behalf charged them 
to do away such abomination from among them. St Paul 
would not leave them till he had excommunicated the wicked 
doer of such abomination. If we should now excommunicate 
all such wicked doers, there would be much ado in England. 
Ye that are magistrates shew favour for affection to such, 



King Edward the Sixth 223 

and will not suffer they may be rooted out or put to shame. 
Oh, he is such a man's servant, we may not do him any 
shame. Oh, he is a gentleman, &c. And so the thing is 
not now any thing looked unto. Lechery is used throughout 
England, and such lechery as is used in none other place of 
the world. And yet it is made a matter of sport, a matter 
of nothing; a laughing matter, and a trifle ; not to be passed 
on, nor to be reformed. But beware, ye that are magistrates : 
their sin doth leaven you all. Therefore for God's love 
beware of this leaven. Well, I trust it will be one day 
amended. I look not to live long, and yet I trust, as old 
as I am, to live so long as to see lechery punished. I would 
wish that Moses's law were restored for punishment of 
lechery, and that the offenders therein might be punished 
according to the prescription of Moses's law. And here I 
will make a suit to your Highness to restore unto the church 
the discipline of Christ, in excommunicating such as be 
notable offenders ; nor never devise any other way. For 
no man is able to devise a better way than God hath done, 
which is excommunication, to put them from the congregation 
till they be confounded. Therefore restore Christ's discipline 
for excommunication ; and that shall be a means both to 
pacify God's wrath and indignation against us ; and also, 
that less abomination shall be used than in times past hath 
been, and is at this day. I speak this of a conscience, and 
I mean and move it of a good-will to your grace and your 
realm. Bring into the church of England open discipline 
of excommunication, that open sinners may be stricken withal. 

Sometimes leaven is taken for corrupt doctrine : and so it 
is here taken in this place, when he saith, " Beware of the 
leaven of the pharisees." For Christ intended to make his 
disciples teachers of all the world, and therefore to beware 
of corrupt doctrine. And that that he said to them, he 
saith also to us ; receive no corrupt doctrine, no mingle-mangle ; 
yet there be leaveners yet still, and mingle-manglers that 
have soured Christ's doctrine with the leaven of the Pharisees. 
Yea, and where there is any piece of leaven, they will 
maintain that one piece, more than all the doctrine of Christ ; 
and about that purpose they occupy and bestow all their wits. 
This was the first seed. 

The second seed was, Nihil occultiim, quod non revela- 
bttur; "There is nothing privy or hidden that shall not be 
revealed and opened." It pertaineth all to one purpose : for 



224 Last Sermon preached before 

there he taught his disciples to beware of the leaven, which 
was hypocrisy ; declaring unto them, that hypocrisy would 
not be always hidden, but such as were not sincere should be 
known at the last day, and all that was taught should at 
length be known. It hath also another meaning, for it is 
God's proverb, " There is nothing so privy but it shall be 
operied ; " at leastwise in the great day of reckoning, in the 
dreadful day of general account, in the day of revelation : 
then shall it be openly known, whatsoever is done, be it 
never so privily done. These fellows that have their fetches 
and their far compasses to bring things to their purposes, 
work they never so privily, never so covertly, yet at the last 
day their doings shall be openly revealed, usque ad satietatem 
visionis, saith the prophet Esay, till all the world shall 
see it, to their shame and confusion that are the doers of it. 
As the prophet Jeremy saith, Sicut confunditur fur qui 
deprehenditur, "Even as a thief that is taken with the 
manner when he stealeth, so shall sinners be openly con- 
founded, and their evil doings opened." Yea, and though it 
be not known in this world, yet it shall be known at the 
last day to their damnation. Indeed God hath verified his 
proverb from time to time, "Nothing is so privy the which 
shall not be revealed." When Cain had killed his brother 
Abel, he thought he had conveyed the matter so privily and 
so closely, that it should never have been known nor have 
come to light : but first, God knew it well enough, and called 
unto him saying, " Cain, where is thy brother Abel ? " But 
he thought he could have beguiled God too ; and therefore 
he answered, "I cannot tell." " What," quoth Cain, "am I 
set to keep my brother ? I cannot tell where he is." But at 
last he was confounded, and his murder brought to light ; 
and now all the world readeth it in the bible. Joseph's 
brethren had sold him away ; they took his motley coat and 
besprinkled it over and over with blood ; they thought all 
was cock-sure ; they had conveyed the matter so secretly, 
that they thought all the world could never have espied it. 
And yet out it came to their great benefit. And now it is 
known to us all, as many as can read the bible. David 
saw a fair woman wash her naked. Then he was straight- 
way ravished, he was clean gone by, and would needs 
have her. He sent for her ; yea, he had gentlemen of 
his chamber about him, that went for her by and by and 
fetched her. 



King Edward the Sixth 225 

And here I have another suit to your Highness. When 
you come to age, beware what persons ye have about you : 
for if ye be set on pleasure, or disposed to wantonness, ye 
shall have ministers enough to be furtherers and instruments 
of it. But David, by his wisdom and policy, thought so to 
have cloked the matter, that it should never have been known. 
He sent for her husband Uriah, and shewed him a fair coun- 
tenance, and looked merrily on him, and sent him forth to 
war, that he might do his pleasure with Berseba afterward ; 
and he thought he had wrought wondrous privily. He 
thought all the matter cock-sure. But the prophet of God, 
Nathan, came and laid his fault plain before his face ; and 
who is now that knoweth it not ? 

Elizeus' servant, Giezi, a bribing brother, he came colour- 
ably to Naaman the Syrian : he feigned a tale of his master 
Elizeus, as all bribers will do, and told him that his master 
had need of this and that, and took of Naaman certain things, 
and bribed it away to his own behoof secretly, and thought 
that it should never have come out ; but Elizeus knew it well 
enough. The servant had his bribes that he sought, yet was 
he stricken with the leper, and so openly shamed. 

Think on this, ye that are bribers, when ye go so secretly 
about such things : have this in your minds, when ye devise 
your secret fetches and conveyances, how Elizeus' servant 
was served, and was openly known. For God's proverb 
will be true, "There is nothing hidden that will not be 
revealed." He that took the silver basin and ewer for a 
bribe, thinketh that it will never come out : but he may now 
know that I know it ; and I know it not alone, there be more 
beside me that know it. Oh briber and bribery ! he was 
never a good man that will so take bribes. Nor I can never 
believe that he that is a briber shall be a good justice. It 
will never be merry in England, till we have the skins of 
such. For what needeth bribing, where men do their things 
uprightly, as for men that are officers, and have a matter 
of charge in their hands ? 

But now I will play St Paul, and translate the thing on 
myself. I will become the king's officer for awhile. 1 have 
to lay out for the king twenty thousand pounds, or a great 
sum, whatsoever it be : well, when I have laid it out, and do 
bring in mine account, I must give three hundred marks to 
have my bills warranted. If I have done truly nnJ uprightly, 
what should need me to give a penny to have my bills 



226 Last Sermon preached before 

warranted ? If I have done my ofifice truly, and do bring in 
a true account, wherefore should one groat be given ? yea, 
one groat, for warranting of my bills ? Smell ye nothing in 
this ? What needeth any bribes-giving, except the bills be 
false ? No man giveth bribes for warranting of his bills, 
except they be false bills. Well, such practice hath been in 
England, but beware ; it will out one day : beware of God's 
proverb, "There is nothing hidden that shall not be opened;" 
yea, even in this world, if ye be not the children of damna- 
tion. And here now I speak to you, my masters, minters, 
augmentationers, receivers, surveyors, and auditors : I make 
a petition unto you ; I beseech you all be good to the king. 
He hath been good to you, therefore be good to him : yea, 
be good to your own souls. Ye are known well enough, what 
ye were afore ye came to your ofifices, and what lands ye had 
then, and what ye have purchased since, and what buildings 
ye make daily. Well, I pray you so build, that the king's 
workmen may be paid. They make their moan that they 
can get no money. The poor labourers, gun-makers, powder- 
men, bow-makers, arrow- makers, smiths, carpenters, soldiers, 
and other crafts, cry out for their duties. They be unpaid, 
some of them, three or four months : yea, some of them half 
a year : yea, some of them put up bills this time twelve 
months for their money, and cannot be paid yet. They cry 
out for their money, and, as the prophet saith. Clamor ope- 
rariorum ascendit ad aures meas ; "The cry of the work- 
men is come up to mine ears." O, for God's love, let the 
workmen be paid, if there be money enough ; or else there 
will whole showers of God's vengeance rain down upon your 
heads ! Therefore, ye minters, and ye augmentationers, serve 
the king truly. So build and purchase, that the king may 
have money to pay his workmen. It seemeth evil-favouredly, 
that ye should have enough wherewith to build superfluously, 
and the king lack to pay his poor labourers. Well, yet I 
doubt not but that there be some good officers. But I will 
not swear for all. 

I have now preached three Lents. The first time I 
preached restitution. " Restitution," quoth some, " what 
should he preach of restitution? Let him preach of contrition," 
quoth they, " and let restitution alone ; we can never make 
restitution." Then, say I, if thou wilt not make restitution, 
thou shalt go to the devil for it. Now choose thee either 
restitution or else endless damnation. But now there be 



King Edward the Sixth 227 

two manner of restitutions ; secret restitution, and open resti- 
tution : whether of both it be, so that restitution be made, it 
is all good enough. At my first preaching of restitution, one 
good man took remorse of conscience, and acknowledged 
himself to me, that he had deceived the king ; and willing he 
was to make restitution : and so the first Lent came to my 
hands twenty pounds to be restored to the king's use. I was 
promised twenty pound more the same Lent, but it could not 
be made, so that it came not. Well, the next Lent came 
three hundred and twenty pounds more. I received it my- 
self, and paid it to the king's council. So I was asked, 
what he was that made this restitution ? But should I have 
named him ? Nay, they should as soon have this wesant ^ of 
mine. Well, now this Lent came one hundred and fourscore 
pounds ten shillings, which I have paid and delivered this 
present day to the king's council : and so this man hath made 
a godly restitution. " And so," quoth I to a certain nobleman 
that is one of the king's council, " if every man that hath 
beguiled the king should make restitution after this sort, it 
would cough the king twenty thousand pounds, I think," 
quoth L " Yea, that it would," quoth the other, " a whole 
hundred thousand pounds." Alack, alack; make restitution; 
for God's sake make restitution : ye will cough in hell else, 
that all the devils there will laugh at your coughing. There 
is no remedy, but restitution open or secret ; or else hell. 

This that I have now told you of was a secret restitution. 
Some examples hath been of open restitution, and glad may 
he be that God was so friendly unto him, to bring him unto 
it in this world, I am not afraid to name him ; it was 
Master Sherington, an honest gentleman, and one that God 
loveth. He openly confessed that he had deceived the king, 
and he made open restitution. Oh, what an argument may 
he have against the devil, when he shall move him to des- 
peration ! God brought this out to his amendment. It is a 
token that he is a chosen man of God, and one of his elected, 
If he be of God, he shall be brought to it ; therefore for God's 
sake make restitution, or else remember God's proverb ; 
" There is nothing so secret," &c. If you do either of these 
two in this world, then are ye of God ; if not, then for lack 
of restitution, ye shall have eternal damnation. Ye may do 
it by means, if you dare not do it yourselves ; bring it to an- 
other, and so make restitution. If ye be not of God's fiock, 
> Wind-pipe. 



228 Last Sermon preached before 

it shall be brought out to your shame and damnation at the 
flast day ; when all evil men's sins shall be laid open before 
nis. Yet there is one way, how all our sins may be hidden, 
which is, repent and amend. Recipiscentia, recipiscentia, 
Teper\,ting and amending is a sure remedy, and a sure way to 
'hide all, that it shall not come out to our shame and confusion. 
Yet there was another seed that Christ was sowing in 
'that sermon of his; and this was the seed: "I say to you, 
rniy friends, fear not him that killeth the body, but fear him 
that after he hath killed, hath power also to cast into hell- 
iire," &c. And there, to put his disciples in comfort and sure 
hope of his help, and out of all doubt and mistrust of his 
assistance, he bringeth in unto them the example of the spar- 
rows, how they are fed by God's mere providence and good- 
ness ; and also of the hairs of our heads, hov/ that not so 
much as one hair falleth from our heads without him. '' Fear 
him," saith he, " that when he hath killed the body, may also 
cast into hell-fire." Matter for all kinds of people here, but 
specially for kings. And, therefore, here is another suit to 
your Highness. " Fear not him that killeth the body." 
Fear not these foreign princes and foreign powers. God 
shall make you strong enough. Stick to God : fear God, 
fear not them. God hath sent you many storms in your 
youth ; but forsake not God, and he will not forsake you. 
Peradventure ye shall have that shall move you, and say 
unto you, "Oh, Sir ! Oh, such a one is a great man, he is a 
mighty prince, a king of great power, ye cannot be without 
his friendship, agree with him in religion, or else ye shall 
have him your enemy," &c. Well, fear them not, but cleave 
to God, and he shall defend you. Do not as king Ahaz did, 
that was afraid of the Assyrian king, and for fear lest he 
should have him to his enemy, was content to forsake God, 
and to agree with him in religion and worshipping of God : 
and anon sent to Urias the high priest, who was ready at 
once to set up the idolatry of the Assyrian king. Do not 
your Highness so : fear not the best of them all ; but fear God. 
The same Urias was capellanus ad manum, " a chaplain at 
hand," an elbow chaplain. If ye will turn, ye shall have 
that will turn with you ; yea, even in their white rochets. 
But follow not Ahaz. -Remember the hair, how it falleth 
not without God's providence. Remember the sparrows, 
how they build in every house, and God provideth for them. 
" And ye are much more precious to me," saith Christ, " than 



King Edward the Sixth 229 

sparrows or other birds." God will defend you ; that before 
your time cometh, ye shall not die nor miscarry. 

On a time when Christ was going to Jerusalem, his 
disciples said unto him, " They there would have stoned 
thee, and wilt thou now go thither again ? " What saith 
he again to them ? Nonne duodecim sunt horcB die, &t., 
" Be there not twelve hours in the day ? " saith he : God hath 
appointed his times, as pleaseth him ; and before the time 
cometh that God hath appointed, they shall have no power 
against you. Therefore stick to God and forsake him not ; 
but fear him, and fear not men. And beware chiefly of two 
affections, fear and love : fear, as Ahaz, of whom I have told 
you, that for fear of the Assyrian king he changed his religion, 
and thereby purchased God's high indignation to him and to 
his realm ; and love, as Dina, Jacob's daughter, who caused 
a change of religion by Sichem and Hemor, who were con- 
tented for lust of a wife to the destruction and spoiling of all 
the whole city. Read the chronicles of England and France, 
and ye shall see what changes of religion hath come by mar- 
riages, and for marriages. " Marry my daughter, and be 
baptized, and so forth, or else." Fear them not. Remember 
the sparrows. And this rule should all estates and degrees 
of men follow ; whereas now they fear men and not God. 
If there be a judgment between a great man and a poor 
man, then must there be a corruption of justice for fear. 
" Oh, he is a great man, I dare not displease him." Fie 
upon thee ! art thou a judge, and wilt be afraid to give right 
judgment ? Fear him not, be he never so great a man ; but 
uprightly do true justice. Likewise some pastors go from 
their cure ; they are afraid of the plague, they dare not come 
nigh any sick body, but hire others ; and they go away 
themselves. Out upon thee ! The wolf cometh upon thy 
flock to devour them, and when they have most need of 
thee thou runnest away from them ! The soldier also, that 
should go on warfare, he will draw back as much as he can. 
" Oh, I shall be slain ! Oh, such and such went, and never 
came home again. Such men went the last year into Nor- 
folk, and were slain there." Thus they are afraid to go : 
they will labour to tarry at home. If the king command 
thee to go, thou art bound to go ; and serving the king thou 
servest God. If thou serve God, he will not shorten thy days 
to thine hurt. " Well," saith some, " if they had not gone, 
they had lived unto this day." How knowest thou that ? 



230 Last Sermon preached before 

Who made thee so privy of God's counsel ? Follow thou thy 
vocation, and serve the king when he calleth thee. In serv- 
ing him thou shalt serve God ; and till thy time come, thou 
shalt not die. It was marvel that Jonas escaped in such a 
city : what then ? Yet God preserved him, so that he could 
not perish. Take therefore an example of Jonas, and every 
man follow his vocation, not fearing men, but fearing God. 

Another seed that Christ was sowing in the sermon was 
this : Qui confessus me fuerit hominibus, confitebor et ego 
ilium coram Patre ineo ; " He that confesseth me before 
men, I shall also confess him before my Father." We must 
confess him with mouth. It was of a bishop not long ago 
asked as touching this : " Laws," saith he, "must be obeyed, 
and civil ordinance I will follow outwardly ; but my heart 
in religion is free to think as I will." So said Friar Forest, 
half a papist, yea, worse than a whole papist. 

Well, another seed was, " He that sinneth against the 
Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this 
world nor in the world to come." What is this same sin 
against the Holy Ghost, an horrible sin that never shall 
be forgiven, neither in this world nor in the world to come ? 
What is this sin ? Final impenitency : and some say, im- 
pugning of the truth. One came to me once, that de- 
spaired because of sin against the Holy Ghost. He was 
sore troubled in his conscience, that he should be damned ; 
and that it was not possible for him to be saved, because 
he had sinned against the Holy Ghost. I said to him, 
" What, man," quoth I, " comfort yourself in these words 
of the apostle, Christus est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris : 
and again ; Idea me misit Pater in mundum, ut qui credit 
in me non pereat, sed habeat vitam ceternam ; 'My Father 
hath for this purpose sent me into the world, that he which 
believeth in me may not perish, but may have the life ever- 
lasting.' Also, Quacunque hora ingemuerit peccator salvus 
erit ; ' In what hour soever the sinner shall mourn for sin, 
he shall be saved.'" I had scriptures enough for me, as 
methought; but say what I could say, he could say more 
against himself, than I could say at that time to do him 
good withal. Where some say that the sin against the 
Holy Ghost is original sin ; I alleged against that the 
saying of St Paul, Sicut per unius delictum, &c., and si 
quis egerit poenitetitiam ; " If a man had done all the sins 
in the world, and have true repentance, with faith and hope 



King Edward the Sixth 231 

in God's mercy, he shall be forgiven." But whatsoever I 
said, he could still object against me, and avoid my reasons. 
I was fain to make another day, and did so. " Let me 
go to my book," quoth I, "and go you to your prayers, 
for ye are not altogether without faith." I got me to my 
study ; I read many doctors, but none could content me ; 
no expositor could please me, nor satisfy my mind in the 
matter. And it is with me as it was with a scholar of 
Cambridge, who being demanded of his tutor how he under- 
stood his lesson, and what it meant, " I know," quoth he, 
" what it meaneth but I cannot tell it ; I cannot express it." 
So I understood it well enough, but I cannot well declare it. 
Nevertheless I will bungle at it as well as I can. 

Now to tell you, by the way, what sin it was that he had 
committed : he had fallen from the truth known, and after- 
ward fell to mocking and scorning of it ; and this sin it was 
that he thought to be unforgiveable. I said unto him, that 
it was a vehement manner of speaking in scripture ; " Yet," 
quoth I, " this is not spoken universally ; nor it is not meant 
that God doth never forgive it ; but ic is commonly called 
irremissible, unforgiveable, because that God doth seldom 
forgive it. But yet there is no sin so great but God may 
forgive it, and doth forgive it to the repentant heart, though 
in words it sound that it shall never be forgiven : as, privi- 
legium paucorum non destniit regulam universalem, The 
privilege of a few persons doth not destroy an universal rule 
or saying of scripture. For the scripture saith, Omnes mo- 
riemur, ' We shall die every one of us : ' yet some shall be 
rapt and taken alive, as St Paul saith ; for this privilege of 
a few doth not hurt a generality. An irremissible sin, an 
unexcusable sin ; yet to him that will truly repent, it is for- 
giveable ; in Christ it may be remitted.- If there be no more 
but one man forgiven, ye may be that same one man that shall 
be forgiven : Ubi abundavit delichim, ibi abundavit et gratia ; 
' Where iniquity hath abounded, there shall grace abound.' " 
Thus by little and little this man came to a settled conscience 
again, and took comfort in Christ's mercy. Therefore despair 
not, though it be said it shall never be forgiven. Where 
Cain said, " My wickedness is so great that God cannot for- 
give it ; " Nay, thou liest, saith Austin to Cain, Major est Dei 
misericordia, quam itiiquitas tua ; " The mercy of God is 
greater than thine iniquity." Therefore despair not ; but 
this one thing I say : beware of this sin that ye fall not 



232 Last Sermon preached before 

into it ; for I have known no more but this one man, that 
hath fallen from the truth, and hath afterward repented and 
come to grace again. I have known many since God hath 
opened mine eyes to see a little ; I have known many, I say, 
that knew more than I, and some whom I have honoured, 
that have afterwards fallen from the truth ; but never one of 
them, this man except, that have returned to grace and to the 
truth again. But yet, though God doth very seldom forgive 
this sin, and although it be one of the sins that God doth 
hate most of all others, and such as is almost never forgiven, 
yet it is forgiveable in the blood of Christ, if one truly re- 
pent ; and lo ! it is universal. As there is also another scrip- 
ture, VcE. terrce cujus rex puer est, " Wo be to the land, to 
the realm whose king is a child ;" which some interpret and 
refer to childish conditions : but it is commonly true the 
other way too, when it is referred to the age and years of 
childhood. For where the king is within age, they that have 
governance about the king have much liberty to live volup- 
tuously and licentiously ; and not to be in fear how they 
govern, as they would be if the king were of full age ; and 
then commonly they govern not well. But yet Josias and 
one or two more, though they were children, yet had their 
realms well governed, and reigned prosperously ; and yet the 
saying, Vce terrce ciijus rex puer est, is nevertheless true for 
all that. And this I gather of this irremissible sin against 
the Holy Ghost, that the scripture saith it is never forgiven, 
because it is seldom forgiven. For indeed I think that there 
is no sin, which God doth so seldom nor so hardly forgive, 
as this sin of falling away from the truth, after that a man 
once knoweth it. And indeed this took best place with the 
man that I have told you of, and best quieted his conscience. 

Another seed was this : " Be not careful," skith Christ, 
" what ye shall say before judge and magistrates, when ye 
are brought afore them for my name's sake ; for the Holy 
Ghost shall put in your minds, even at that present hour, 
what ye shall speak." A comfortable saying, and a goodly 
promise of the Holy Ghost, that "the adversaries of the 
truth," saith he, " shall not be able to resist us." What ? 
shall the adversaries of the truth be dumb ? Nay ; there be 
no greater talkers, nor boasters, and facers than they be. 
But they shall not be able to resist the truth to destroy it. 

Here some will say, "What needeth universities then, 
and the preservation of schools ? The Holy Ghost will give 



King Edward the Sixth 233 

always what to say." Yea, but for all that we may not 
tempt God ; we must trust in the Holy Ghost, but we must 
not presume on the Holy Ghost. Here now should I speak of 
universities, and for preferring of schools : but he that preached 
the last Sunday spake very well in it, and substantially, 
and like one that knew the state and condition of the univer- 
sities and schools very well. But thus much I say unto you, 
magistrates : if ye will not maintain schools and universities, 
ye shall have a brutality. Therefore now a suit again to 
your Highness. So order the matter, that preaching may 
not decay : for surely, if preaching decay, ignorance and 
brutishness will enter again. Nor give the preachers' livings 
to secular men. What should the secular men do with the 
livings of preachers ? I think there be at this day ten thou- 
sand students less than were within these twenty years, and 
fewer preachers ; and that is the cause of rebellion. If there 
were good bishops, there should be no rebellion. 

I am now almost come to my matter, saving one saying 
of Christ which was another seed : Date, et dabitur vobis ; 
" Give, and it shall be given unto you," &c. But who be- 
lieveth this ? If men believed this promise, they would give 
more than they do ; and at leastwise they would not stick to 
give a little : but now-a-days men'^ study is set rather to 
take gifts, and to get of other men's goods, than to give any 
of their own. So all other the promises are mistrusted and 
unbelieved. For if the rich men did believe this promise of 
God, they would willingly and readily give a little to have 
the overplus. So where Christ saith of injuries, or offences 
and trespasses, Mihi vindida, et ego retribuam, &■€., " Leave 
the avenging of wrongs alone unto me, and I shall pay them 
home," &c. : if the rebels had believed this promise, they 
would not have done as they did. So all the promises of 
God are mistrusted. Noah also after the flood feared at 
every rain lest the world should be drowned and destroyed 
again ; till God gave the rainbow. And what exercise shall 
we have by the rainbow ? We may learn by the rainbow, 
that God will be true of his promises, and will fulfil his pro- 
mises. For God sent the rainbow ; and four thousand years 
it is, and more, since this promise was made, and yet God 
hath been true of his promise unto this day : so that now 
when we. see the rainbow, we may learn that God is true of 
his promise. And as God was true in this promise, so is he 
and will be in all the rest. But the covetous man doth not 



234 Last Sermon preached before 

believe that God is true of his promise ; for if he did, he would 
not stick to give of his goods to the poor. But as touching 
that I spake afore, when we see the rainbow, and see in 
the rainbow that that is like water, and of a watery colour, 
and as we may and ought not only to take thereof hold and 
comfort of God's promise, that he will no more destroy the 
world with water for sin ; but also we may take an example 
to fear God, who in such wise hateth sin : likewise when in 
the rainbow we see that it is of a fiery colour, and like unto 
fire, we may gather an example of the end of the world, 
that except we amend, the world shall at last be consumed 
with fire for sin ; and to fear the judgment of God, after 
which they that are damned shall be burned in hell-fire. 
These were the seeds that Christ was sowing, when this 
covetous man came unto him. 

And now I am come to my matter. While Christ was 
thus preaching, this covetous fellow would not tarry till all 
the sermon was done, but interrupted the sermon ; even sud- 
denly chopping in, " Master," quoth he, " speak to my bro- 
ther, that he may divide the inheritance with me." He would 
not abide till the end of the sermon ; but his mind was on 
his halfpenny ; and he would needs have his matter despatched 
out of hand. " Master," quoth he, " let my brother divide 
with me." Yet this was a good fellow : he could be con- 
tented with part, he desired not to have all together alone 
to himself, but could be content with a division, and to have 
his part of the inheritance. And what was the inheritance ? 
Ager ; a field : so that it was but one piece of ground, or one 
farm. This covetous man could be content with the half of one 
farm, where our men now-a-days cannot be satisfied with many 
farms at once. One man must now have as many farms as 
will serve many men, or else he will not be contented nor 
satisfied. They will jar now-a-days one with another, except 
they have all. " Oh," saith the wise man, " there be three 
things wherein my soul delighteth : Concordia fratrum, 
amor proximoruni, et vir ac tnulier bene sibi consentientes ; 
the unity of brethren, the love of neighbours, and a man 
and wife agreeing well together." So that the concord of 
brethren, and agreeing of brethren, is a gay thing. Whai 
saith Salomon of this matter ? Frater qui adjuvatur a fratre 
quasi civitas firitia et turris fortis ; " The brother that is 
holpen of his brother, is a sure and well-fenced city, and a 
strong tower," he is so strong. Oh, it is a great matter, 



King Edward the Sixth 235 

when brethren love and hold well together ! But if the one 
go about to pull down the other, then are they weak both of 
them ; and when one pulleth down his fellow, they must needs 
down both of them ; there is no stay to hold them up. 

Mark in the chronicles of England. Two brethren have 
reigned jointly together, the one on this side Humber, and 
the other beyond Humber, in Scotland, and all that way. 
And what hath come of it ? So long as ' they have agreed 
well together, so long they have prospered ; and when they 
have jarred, they have both gone to wrack. Brethren 
that have so reigned here in England, have quarrelled one 
with another ; and the younger hath not been contented 
with his portion, (as indeed the younger brother commonly 
jarreth first,) but by the contention both have fared the worse. 
So when there is any contention between brother and brother 
for land, commonly they are both undone by it. And that 
crafty merchant, whatever he be, that will set brother against 
brother, meaneth to destroy them both. But of these two 
brethren, whether this man here were the elder or the 
younger, I cannot say ; scripture telleih me not whether 
of these two was the younger : but a likelihood this was 
the younger ; for once it was a plain law, that primogenitus, 
that is to say, the elder brother, had duplicia ; and there- 
fore of likelihood it should be the youngest brother that 
found himself aggrieved, and was not content. But Christ 
said unto him, "Thou man, who hath made me a judge or 
a divider between you ? " Christ answered him by a ques- 
tion ; and mark this question of Christ, " Thou man," Quis 
me constituit judicem aut divisorem super vos ; "Who made 
me a judge," &c. It is no small matter, saith Augustine, 
of what intention one asketh a question; as Christ in 
another place of the gospel asketh who was neighbour to 
the pilgrim that was wounded. "There was," saith Christ, 
" a man that went from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among 
thieves, and they wounded him, and left him for dead. And 
a priest came by, that was his own countryman, and let him 
lie ; a Levite came by, and would shew no compassion upon 
him ; at last a Samaritan came by, and set him on his 
horse, and conveyed him to the city, and provided surgery 
for him, &c. Now who was neighbour to this wounded 
man?" saith Christ. Qui fecit illi misericordiam, quoth the 
lawyer ; " He that shewed mercy unto him." He that did 
the office of a neighbour, he was a neighbour. As ye 



236 Last Sermon preached before 

■may perceive by a more familiar example of the bishop of 
Exeter at Sutton in Staffordshire. Who is bishop of 
Ji^xeter? Forsooth, Master Coverdale. What, do not all 
■men know who is bishop of Exeter ? What? He hath been 
-bishop many years. Well, say I, Master Coverdale is 
l)ishop of Exeter : Master Coverdale putteth in execution the 
bishop's office, and he that doth the office of the bishop, he 
is the bishop indeed : therefore say I, Master Coverdale is 
bishop of Exeter. Alack ! there is a thing that maketh 
my heart sorry. I hear that Master Coverdale is poisoned. 
Alack ! a good man, a godly preacher, an honest fatherly 
man ; and, if it be true, it is a great pity and a lamentable 
case, that he feeding them with God's word, they should feed 
him again with poison. 

But to the purpose of Christ's question, " Who made me 
a judge between you? " Here an Anabaptist will say, "Ah ! 
Christ refused the office of a judge ; ergo there ought to be 
no judges nor magistrates among christian men. If it had 
been a thing lawful, Christ would not have refused to do 
the office of a judge, and to have determined the variance 
between these two brethren." But Christ did thereby sig- 
nify that he was not sent for that office ; but if thou will 
have a trial and a sentence of that matter according to 
the laws, thou must go to the temporal judge that is de- 
puted therefor. But Christ's meaning was, that he was come 
for another purpose ; he had another office deputed unto him 
than to be a judge in temporal matters. Ego veni vocare 
peccatores ad pcefiitentiani ; "I am come," saith he, "to call 
sinners to repentance : " he was come to preach the gospel, 
the remission of sin, and the kingdom of God-; and meant 
not thereby to disallow the office of temporal magistrates. 
Nay, if Christ had meant that there should be no magis- 
trates, he would have bid him take all : but Christ meant 
nothing so. But the matter is, that this covetous man, 
this brother, took his mark amiss; for he came to a wrong- 
man to seek redress of his matter. For Christ did not 
forbid him to seek his remedy at the magistrate's hand ; 
but Christ refused to take upon him the office that was 
not his calling. For Christ had another vocation than to 
be a judge between such as contended about matters of land. 
If our rebels had had this in their minds, they would not 
have been their own judges ; but they would have sought 
the redress of their grief at the hands of the king, and his 



King Edward the Sixth 237 

magistrates under him appointed. But no marvel of their 
blindness and ignorance ; for the bishops are out of their 
dioceses that should teach them this gear. But this man- 
perchance had heard, and did think that Christ was Messias, 
whose reign in words soundeth a corporal and a temporal, 
reign ; which should do justice and see a redress in all 
matters of worldly controversy : which is a necessary office 
in a christian realm, and must needs be put in execution, 
for ministering of justice. And therefore I require you, as a. 
suitor rather than a preacher, look to your office yourself^ 
and lay not all on your officers' backs ; receive the bills- 
of supplication yourself : I do not see you do so now-a-days- 
as ye were wont to do the last year. For God's sake 
look unto it, and see to the ministering of justice your 
own self, and let poor suitors have answer. There is a king, 
in Christendom, and it is the king of Denmark, that sittetb 
openly in justice thrice in the week, and hath doors kept 
open for the nones. ^ I have heard it reported of one that 
hath been there, and seen the proof of it many a time 
and oft : and the last justice that ever he saw done there,, 
was of a priest's cause that had had his glebe land taken 
from him, (and now here in England some go about to 
take away all ;) but this priest had had his glebe land 
taken from him by a great man. Well ; first went out 
letters for this man to appear at a day : process went out 
for him according to the order of the law, and charged him 
by virtue of those letters to appear afore the king at such 
a day. The day came : the king sat in the hall ready to 
minister justice. The priest was there present. The gentle- 
man, this lord, this great man, was called, and commanded to 
make his appearance according to the writ that had been 
directed out for him. And the lord came, and was there ; 
but he appeared not. " No," quoth the king, " was he 
summoned as he should be ? Had he any warning to be 
here?" It was answered, "Yea; and that he was there 
walking up and down in the hall ; and that he knew well 
enough that that was his day ; and also, that he had already 
been called ; but he said, he would not come before the king 
at that time : alleging, that he needed not as yet to make 
an answer, because he had had but one summoning." "No,'* 
quoth the king, " is he here present ? " " Yea, forsooth, 
sir," said the priest. The king commanded him to be 
' nonce, purpose. 



238 Last Sermon preached before 

called, and to come before him : and the end was this, 
he made this lord, this great man, to restore unto the 
priest not only the glebe land which he had taken from 
the priest, but also the rent and profit thereof for so long 
time as he had withholden it from the priest ; which was 
■eight years or thereabout. Saith he, " When you can shew 
better evidence than the priest hath done, why it ought to 
be your land, then he shall restore it to you again, and 
•the profits thereof that he shall receive in the mean time : 
but till that day come, I charge ye that ye suffer him 
peaceably to enjoy that is his." 

This is a noble king ; and this I tell for your example, 
that ye may do the like. Look upon the matter yourself. 
Poor men put up bills every day, and never the near. 
Confirm your kingdom in judgment ; and begin doing of 
your own office yourself, even now while you are young, and 
sit once or twice in the week in council among your lords : it 
shall cause things to have good success, and that matters 
shall not be lingered forth from day to day. It is good for 
every man to do his own office, and to see that well executed 
•and discharged. 

Ozias king in Juda, he would needs do the office of the 
priest, and he would needs offer incense in the sanctuary; 
which to do was the priest's office. But he was suddenly 
stricken with the leprosy for his labour, and so continued a 
leper all the days of his life. St John's disciples would have 
had their master to take upon him that tie was Christ. But 
what said John ? Nemo sibi assumit quicquani nisi datum 
fuerit ei de super ; " No man may take any thing upon himself, 
except it be given unto him from above." If the Devonshire 
men had well considered this, they had not provoked the 
plagues that they have had light upon them. But un- 
preaching prelacy hath been the chiefest cause of all this 
iurly-burly and commotions. But if Christ may challenge 
any kind of men for taking his office upon them, he may 
say to the mass-mongers, " Who gave you commission to 
qffer up Christ ? Who gave you authority to take mine office 
in hand?" For it is only Christ's office to do that. It is a 
greater matter to offer Christ. If Christ had offered his 
body at the last supper, then should we do so too. Who is 
worthy to offer up Christ ? An abominable presumption ! 
Paul saith, Accepit pattern ; postquam gratias egisset, /regit, 
et dixit, Accipite, edite ; "He took bread, and after that he 



King Edward the Sixth 239 

had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take ye, eat ye," 
&c. : and so said, Hoc est corpus fneum, " This is my body." 
He gave thanks ? Well then : in thanksgiving there is no 
oblation ; and when he gave thanks, it was not his body. 

When I was in examination, I was asked many questions, 
and it was said to me. What Christ did, that should we do : 
a bishop gathered that upon these words, Hoc facite in mei 
recordationem, " Do this in remembrance of me." Then said 
he to me, " How know ye that they ate it, before he said. 
Hoc est corpus meuiti, ' This is my body ? ' " I answered 
again and said, *' How know ye that they did not it ? " &c. 
So I brought unto him the place of Paul abovesaid ; and 
that in thanksgiving is none oblation ; and when he gave 
thanks it was not his body, for he gave thanks in the 
beginning of supper, before they eat any manner of thing at 
all ; as his accustomed manner was to do. I wonder there- 
fore, that they will or dare by this text take upon them to 
offer Christ's body : they should rather say, Quisme constituit 
oblatorem, "Who made me an offerer?" But when Christ 
said, Quis me constituit judicem out divisor em super vos, 
" Who hath made me a judge or a divider of lands among 
you ? " Christ did refuse another man's office ; an office 
that he was not of his Father deputed unto. Christ's 
kingdom was a spiritual kingdom, and his office was a spiritual 
office ; and he was a spiritual judge. And therefore, when 
the woman taken in adultery was brought before him, he 
refused not to play the judge; but said, Quis te accusat, 
" Who accuseth thee?" And she said again. Nemo, Domine : 
" No man. Lord." Then said he, Nee ego te condemno, 
" Nor I condemn thee not." Vade et noli amplius peccare, 
" Go thy ways, and sin no more." Here he took upon him 
his own office, and did his office ; for his office was to 
preach, and bid sinners amend their evil living, and not to 
be a temporal judge in temporal causes. And here is another 
occasion of a suit to your highness, for the punishment of 
lechery ; for lechery floweth in England like a flood. 

But now to make an end in temporal causes. He said, 
Quis 7ne constituit Judicem, &c., "Who made me a judge of 
temporal causes among you, and of worldly matters ? " Thus 
came this fellow in here with interrupting of Christ's sermon, 
and received the answer which I have rehearsed. "Thou 
man, thou fellow," quoth he, "who hath made me a judge 
among you ? " And he said unto all the audience, Videte 



240 Last Sermon preached before 

et cavete ab avaritia ; "See and beware of covetousness." 
Why so ? Quia non in abundantia cujiisquam vita ejus est 
ex his qua possidet ; "For no man's life standeth in the 
abundance of the things which he possesseth." We may have 
things necessary, and we may have abundance of things ; but 
the abundance doth not make us blessed. It is no good 
.irgument, Quo plus quisque habet, tanto beatius vivit ; "The 
more riches that a man hath, the more happily and the more 
blissfully he liveth." For a certain great man, that had pur- 
chased much lands, a thousand marks by year, or I wot not 
what ; a great portion he had : and so on the way, as he 
was in his journey towards London, or from London, he fell 
sick by the way ; a disease took him, that he was constrained 
to lie upon it. And so being in his bed, the disease grew 
more and more upon him, that he was, by his friends that 
were about him, godly advised to look to himself, and to 
make him ready to God ; for there was none other likelihood 
but that he must die without remedy. He cried out, " What, 
shall I die ? " quoth he. " Wounds ! sides ! heart ! Shall I 
die, and thus go from my goods ? Go, fetch me some phy- 
sician that may save my life. Wounds and sides ! Shall I 
thus die ? " There lay he still in his bed like a block, with 
nothing but, " Wounds and sides, shall I die ? " Within a 
very little while he died indeed ; and then lay he like a block 
indeed. There was black gowns, torches, tapers, and ring- 
ing of bells ; but what is become of him, God knoweth, and 
not L 

But hereby this ye may perceive, that it is not the 
abundance of riches that maketh a man to live quietly and 
blissfully. But the quiet life is in a mediocrity. Mediocres 
optime vivunt : "They that are in a mean do live best." And 
there is a proverb which I read many years ago, Diruidiuni 
plus toto ; " The half sometimes more than the whole." The 
mean life is the best life and the most quiet life of all. If a 
man should fill himself up to the throat, he should not find 
ease in it, but displeasure ; and with the one half he might 
satisfy his greedy appetite. So this great riches never maketh 
a man's life quiet, but rather troublous. I remember here a 
saying of Salomon, and his example : Conservavi inihi argen- 
tuin et auruin, " I gathered silver and gold together," saith 
he; "I provided me singers, and women which could play 
on instruments, to make men mirth and pastime ; I gat me 
psalteries and songs of music, &c., and thus my heart rejoiced 



King Edward the Sixth 241 

in all that I did." But what was the end of all this ? Cum 
convertissem me ad oumia &"€., " When I considered," saith 
Salomon, " all the works that my hands had wrought, &c., lo ! 
all was but vanity and vexation of mind ; and nothing of any 
value under the sun." Therefore leave covetousness ; for, 
believe me, if I had an enemy, the first thing that I would 
wish to him should be, that he might have abundance of 
riches ; for so I am sure he should never be in quiet. But 
think ye there be not many that would be so hurt ? But in 
this place of the gospel Christ spake and declared this un- 
quietness and uncertainty of great riches by a similitude 
and parable of a great rich man, who had much land, that 
brought forth all fruits plentifully ; and he being in a pride 
of the matter, and much unquiet by reason that he had so 
much, said to himself, " What shall I do, because 1 have not 
room enough wherein to bestow my fruits, that have grown 
unto me of my lands ? I will thus do," saith he ; " I will pull 
down my barns, and build greater barns ; and I will say to 
my soul, My soul, thou hast much goods laid up in store 
for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." 
But God said to him, Sti^lte, hac node animam tuam repe- 
tunt abs te : " Thou fool ! thou fool ! this night will they take 
thy soul from thee again, and then whose shall those things 
be which thou hast provided? Even so it is with him," 
saith Christ, "that gathereth riches unto himself, and is not 
rich toward God," &c. But yet the covetous man can never 
be content. I walked one day with a gentleman in a park, 
and the man regarded not my talk, but cast his head and 
eye this and that way, so that I perceived he gave no great 
ear to me ; which when I saw, I held my peace. At last, 
" Oh," quoth the gentleman, "if this park were mine, I would 
never desire more while I lived." I answered and said, "Sir, 
and what if ye had this park too ? " For there was another 
park even hard by. This gentleman laughed at the matter. 
And truly I think he was diseased with the dropsy : the more 
he had, the more covetous he was to have still more and 
more. This was a farmer that had a farm hard by it ; and 
if he might have had this park to it, he would never have 
desired more. This was a farmer, not altogether so covetous 
a man as there be many now-a-days, as for one gentleman 
to rake up all the farms in the country together into his hands 
all at once. 

And here one suit more to your highness : there lacketh 



242 Last Sermon preached before 

one thing in this realm, that it hath need of; for God's sake 
make some promoters.^ There lack promoters, such as were 
in king Henry the Seventh's days, your grandfather. There 
lack men to promote the king's officers when they do amiss, 
and to promote all offenders. I think there is great need 
of such men of godly discretion, wisdom, and conscience, to 
promote transgressors, as rent-raisers, oppressors of the poor, 
extortioners, bribers, usurers. I hear there be usurers in 
England, that will take forty in the hundred; but I hear 
of no promoters to put them up. We read not, this covetous 
farmer or landed man of the gospel bought corn in the 
markets to lay it up in store, and then sell it again. But, 
and if it please your highness, I hear say that in England 
we have landlords, nay, step-lords I might say, that are 
become graziers ; and burgesses are become regraters ; and 
some farmers will regrate and buy up all the corn that 
Cometh to the markets, and lay it up in store, and sell it 
again at a higher price, when they see their time. I heard 
a merchantman say, that he had travailed all the days of 
his life in the trade of merchandise, and had gotten three 
or four thousand pounds by buying and selling ; but in case 
he might be licensed or suffered so to do, he would get a 
thousand pound a year by only buying and selling of grain 
here within this realm. Yea, and (as I hear say) aldermen 
now-a-days are become colliers : they be both woodmongers 
and makers of coals. I would wish he might eat nothing 
but coals for awhile, till he had amended it. There cannot 
a poor body buy a sack of coals, but it must come through 
their hands. But this rich man that the gospel speaketh 
of was a covetous man : God had given him plenty, but that 
made him not a good man : it is another thing that maketh 
a good man. God saith, St non audieris vocefn meatn, " If 
thou obey not my voice," &c. And therefore worldly riches 
do not declare the favour or disfavour of God. The scrip- 
ture saith. Nemo scit an sit amore dig?ius an odio. God 
hath ordained all things to be good ; and the devil laboureth 
to turn all things to man's evil. God giveth men plenty 
of riches to exercise their faith and charity, to confirm them 
that be good, to draw them that be naught, and to bring 
them to repentance ; and the devil worketh altogether^ to 
the contrary. And it is an old proverb, " the more wicked, 

' A species of informers who prosecuted offenders against the laws, 
and received part of the pecuniary fines that were levied. 



King Edward the Sixth 243 

the more fortunate." But the unquietness of this covetous 
rich man declareth the unquietaess of the mind, that riches 
bringeth with it. First, they are all in care how to get 
riches ; and then are they in more care how to keep it still. 
Therefore the Apostle saith. Qui volunt ditescere hicidunt in 
ientationes varias ; "They that study to get great riches 
do fall into many divers temptations." But the root of all 
evil is covetousness. " What shall I do ? " saith this rich 
man. He asked his own brainless head what he should do : 
he did not ask of the scripture ; for if he had asked of the 
scripture, it would have told him ; it would have said unto 
him, Frange esurienti panem tuum, &c. ; " Break thy bread 
unto the hungry." All the affection of men now-a-days is 
in building gay and sumptuous houses ; it is in setting up 
and pulling down, and never have they done building. But 
the end of all such great riches and covetousness is this : 
" This night, thou fool, thy soul shall be taken from thee." 
It is to be understood of all that rise up from little to much, 
as this rich man that the gospel spake of. I do not despise 
riches, but I wish that men should have riches as Abraham 
had, and as Joseph had. A man to have riches to help his 
neighbour, is godly riches. The worldly ricl^es is to put 
all his trust and confidence in his worldly riches; that he 
may by them live here gallantly, pleasantly, and voluptuously. 
Is this godly riches ? No, no, this is not godly riches. It 
is a common saying now-a-days among many, " Oh he is 
a rich man : he is well worth five hundred pounds." He 
is well worth five hundred pounds, that hath given five 
hundred pounds to the poor ; otherwise it is none of his. 
Yea, but who shall have this five hundred pounds ? For 
whom hast thou gotten this five hundred pounds ? What 
saith Salomon ? Ecclesiastes v. Esi alia infirmitas pessima 
quain vidi sub sole, divitice conservatce in malum domini sui : 
" Another evil (saith he) and another very naughty imperfec- 
tion, riches hoarded up and kept together to the owner's own 
harm : " for many times such riches do perish and consume 
away miserably. " Such a one shall sometime have a son," 
said he, " that shall be a very beggar, and live all in 
extreme penury." O goodly riches, that one man shall get 
it, and another come to devour it ! Therefore, Videte et 
cavete ab avaritla ; "See and beware of covetousness." 
Believe God's words, for they will not deceive you nor lie. 
" Heaven and earth shall perish, but Verbum Domini manet 



244 Last Sermon 

in ceternum ; the word of the Lord abideth, and endureth 
for ever." O this leavened faith, this unseasoned faith ! 
Beware of this unseasoned faith. A certain man asked me 
this question, " Didst thou ever see a man live long that 
had great riches ? " Therefore saith the wise man, " If God 
send thee riches, use them." If God send thee abundance, 
use it according to the rule of God's word ; and study to be 
rich in our Saviour Jesus Christ : to whom, with the Father 
and the Holy Ghost, be all honour, glory, and praise, for 
ever and ever. Amen. 



A SERMON PREACHED BY M. HUGH LATIMER, 
AT STAMFORD, NOVEMBER 9, ANNO 1550. 

Reddite ergo qiicB sunt Cczsaris Ccssari, et quce sunt Dei Deo. 

Matthew xxii. 21. 

Give that that is Cn;sar's to Csesar, and that that is God's to God. 

This doctrine is grievous, heavy, and irksome to covetous 
hearts, rebellious and seditious hearts. Give, give, they 
cannot away with it ; it cannot stick in their minds, nor settle 
in their stomachs : they would rather be taking, scraping, and 
catching, than giving. But godly persons will well accept 
and take it ; for it is to them a great pleasure, joy, and 
comfort. For the better understanding of this place, ye shall 
understand, Christ came to bring us out of bondage, and to 
set us at liberty, not from civil burthen, as from obeying 
the magistrates, from paying tax and tribute ; but from a 
greater burthen, and a more grievouser burthen, the burthen 
of sin ; the burthen, not of the body, but of the soul ; to 
make us free from it, and to redeem us from the curse and 
malediction of the law unto the honourable state of the 
children of God. But as for the civil burthens, he delivered 
us not from them, but rather commanded us to pay them. 
" Give, give," saith he, "to Caesar obedience, tribute, and all 
things due to Caesar." 

For the understanding of this text, it shall be very need- 
ful to consider the circumstance going before : which thing 
duly considered giveth a great light to all places of the 
scripture. Who spake these words : to whom they were 
spoken : upon what occasion ; and afore whom ? Therefore 
I will take the whole fragment and shred, taken out of God's 
book for the Gospel of this day ; written in the Gospel 
of Matthew, the twenty-second chapter : Tunc abierunt 
PhariscBi ; "Then went the Pharisees, and took a counsel.'' 
Luke hath observa?ttes, marking, spying, looking, tooting, ^ 
' Slyly prying. 

245 



246 Sermon preached at Stamford 

watching : like subtle, crafty, and sleighty fellows, they took a 
counsel, and sent to him their disciples, which should " feign 
themselves just men," godly men, glad to learn his doctrine ; 
and with them Herod's servants to trap him in his words : 
and they said to him, " Master, we know that thou art a 
true man, and teachest the way of God in veritaie, truly, 
and carest for no man : for thou regardest not the personage 
of man. Tell us therefore, what thinkest thou ? Is it lawful 
to give Caesar tribute-money, or no ? " This was their question 
that they would have snarled him with. In answering him 
to this, they would have caught him by the foot. But Jesus, 
cognita tnalitia eorum, knowing their malice, their wicked- 
ness, their uncharitableness, said to them : " Hypocrites, why 
do ye tempt me ? Shew me a piece of the tribute money. 
And they brought him a penny. And he said to them, 
Whose image is this, and the writing ? They answered, 
Caesar's. He said to them, Give to G'esar, that that be- 
longeth to Csesar, and to God that that is God's." Thus 
ye may perceive, it was our Saviour Christ that spake these 
words ; and they were spoken unto the Pharisees that tempted 
him. But they be a doctrine unto us, that are Christ's dis- 
ciples. For whose words should we delight to hear and learn, 
but the words and doctrine of our Saviour Christ ? And that 
I may at this time so declare them, as may be for God's 
glory, your edifying, and my discharge, I pray you all to 
help me with your prayers. 

In the which prayer, &c., for the universal church of 
Christ through the whole world, &c., for the preservation of 
our sovereign lord king Edward the Sixth, sole supreme 
Head, under God and Christ, of the churches of England 
and Ireland, &c. Secondly, for the king's most honourable 
council. Thirdly, I commend unto you the souls departed 
this life in the faith of Christ, that ye remember to give laud, 
praise, and thanks to Almighty God for his great goodness 
and mercy shewed unto them in that great need and conflict 
against the devil and sin, and that gave them at the hour of 
death faith in his Son's death and passion, whereby they 
might conquer and overcome and get the victory. Give 
thanks, I say, for this ; adding prayers and supplications for 
yourselves, that it may please God to give you the like faith 
and grace to trust only unto the death of his dear Son, as he 
gave unto them. For as they be gone, so must we : and the 
devil will be as ready to tempt us as he was them ; and our 



Sermon preached at Stamford 247 

sins will light as heavy upon us as theirs did upon them ; 
and we are as weak and unable to resist, as were they. 
Pray therefore that we may have grace to die in the same 
faith of Christ as they did, and at the latter day be raised 
with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and be partakers with 
Christ in the kingdom of heaven. For this and grace let us 
say the Lord's prayer. 

Tu7ic abeuntes. Tunc, it hangeth on a text before. 
Christ told them a similitude, that the kingdom of heaven 
is like to a king that made a bridal to his son : he married 
his son, and sent his servants out to bid his guests. Well ; 
they would not come, although he had made great preparing 
and much cost for them. Arnbition, covetousness, and cruelty 
would not let them come. Then he sent his warriors and 
destroyed them ; and again and again sent other servants to 
bid guests to his bridal, hand over head, come who would. 
They did his bidding, and the house was full of guests. The 
king now would view his guests, and finding there one not 
clad in marrying garments, he asked him : " Friend, how 
camest thou here, not having a marriage-garment ? And 
commanded to bind him hand and foot, and cast him into 
utter darkness : there was wailing and grinding of teeth. 
For many be called and few be chosen." Now Christ ex- 
poundeth this : The kingdom of heaven is preaching of the 
gospel. This marriage is the joining of Christ and his church ; 
which was begun by Christ here in earth, and shall continue 
to the end of the world. The bidders of his guests are 
preachers : but here are so many lets and hinderances. 
Covetousness is a let ; ambition is a let ; cruelty is the 
greatest let. For they beat his servants ; brake their heads ; 
yea, murdered them which bade them to this bridal. With 
this the king was angry, and sent his men of war to destroy 
those unthankful people. Was he not angry with covetous- 
ness, and with ambition ? Yes, he is angry with covetous 
men, with ambitious men ; but most of all with cruelty. 
This is an anger above common anger, when men be not 
only unthankful, but also add cruelty, to persecute the 
preachers that come to call us to this marriage. This toucheth 
God so nigh, that he saith, Qui vos audit Tne audit ; "He 
that heareth you heareth me." This cruelty the king would 
not leave unpunished, but sent forth his men of war. They 
are called his men of war, his men ; his men, for wars come 
at his commandment. Titus and Vespasian were sent of God 



248 Sermon preached at Stamford 

to punish those covetous Jews, ambitious Jews, cruel Jews, 
that would not credit Christ, nor believe the preaching of 
salvation. Now in ■ war what part soever get the victory, 
that is God's part, that is God's host. Nabuchadonoser was 
an evil man, a wicked man ; yet was he sent of God to punish 
the stubborn and covetous Jews for their ambition and cruelty, 
and forsaking God's most holy word, and he is called in 
scripture "God's servant." It is no good argument, He 
hath the victory, ; ergo he is a good man. But this is a 
good argument : He hath the victory, ergo God was on his 
side, and by him punished the contrary party. 

The preachers called good and bad. They can do no 
more but call ; God is he that must bring in ; God must 
open the hearts, as it is in the Acts of the Apostles : when 
Paul preached to the women, there was a silk-woman, cujus 
cor Dens aperuit, "whose heart God opened." None could 
open it but God. Paul could but only preach, God must 
work ; God must do the thing inwardly. But good and 
bad came. Therefore the preaching is likened to a fisher's 
net, that taketh good fish and bad, and draweth all to the 
shore. In the whole multitude that prcfess the gospel, all 
be no good ; all cannot away with the mortifying of their 
flesh. They will with good will bear the name of Christians, 
of gospellers ; but to do the deeds they grudge, they repine, 
they cannot away with it. Among the apostles all were not 
honest ; nay, one was a devil. So among so great a number 
of gospellers, some are card-gospellers ; some are dice- 
gospellers ; some pot-gospellers. All are not good ; all seek 
not amendment of life. 

Then cometh the king to see his guests, and findeth 
one not having the marriage-garment, and saith to him, 
" Friend, how camest thou hither, and hast not the marriage- 
garment ? " Faith is the marriage-garment ; not a feigned 
faith without good living, but " faith that worketh by love." 
He was blamed because he professed one thing, and was 
indeed another. Why did he not blame the preachers? 
There was no fault in them, they did their duties : they 
had no further commandment but to call them to the mar- 
riage. The garment he should have provided himself. There- 
fore he quarrelleth not with the preachers, *' What doth this 
fellow here ? Why suffered ye him to enter," &c. For their 
commission extehded no further but only to call him. Many 
are grieved that there is so little fruit of their preaching. 



Sermon preached at Stamford 249 

And when as they are asked, " Why do you not preach, 
having so great gifts given you of God ? " "I would preach," 
say they, " but I see so Httle fruit, so little amendment of life, 
that it maketh me weary." A naughty answer : a very naughty 
answer. Thou art troubled with that God gave thee no charge 
of; and leavest undone that thou art charged with, God 
commandeth thee to preach : and si non locutus fueris, if 
thou speak not, if thou warn not the wicked, that they turn 
and amend, they shall perish in their iniquities ; sanguinetn 
autem ejus de 7nanu tua requiram. This text nippeth ; this 
pincheth ; this toucheth the quick : " He shall die in his 
wickedness, but I will require his blood at thy hand." 
Hearken well to this, mark it well, ye curates ; " I will ask his 
blood at thy hand." If you do not your ofifice, if ye teach 
not the people, and warn them not, you shall be damned 
for it. If you do your ofifice, you are discharged ; Tuam 
animam liberasti. Warn them, therefore, to leave their 
wickedness, their covetousness, their ambition, their cruelty, 
unmercifulness, &c., and thou hast saved thine own soul. For 
there was no quarrel with the preachers ; but he was cast 
in prison, "where was weeping and wailing and grinding of 
teeth : " these were his dehcates. Multi sunt vocati ; " Many 
are called, but few are chosen." 

To this parable now joineth this gospel. Tunc Pharisai 
abeuntes. The Pharisees were a sect of religion among the 
Jews, most exquisite, perfect, holy, and learned, and were 
reputed most godly men ; even such as in holiness excelled 
all other,. as our monks were of late among us, and be yet 
in other places. They were in God's bosom, even at heaven- 
gates, in the sight of the world ; but inwardly superstitious, 
feigned, hollow-hearted, dissimulers. Now at this time, I 
know none more like them than the hypocritical hollow-hearted 
papists. The name is changed, but the thing remaineth. 
Therefore they may well be called by the name that keep the 
thing. These were enemies to Christ and his doctrine. They 
would be ordered by old wont, customs, forefathers ; and, to 
maintain their traditions, set aside the commandments of God, 
refused Christ and his word. St Luke hath observantes, 
"observants," that is, watchers, tooters, spies; much like the 
Observant Friars, the barefoot friars, that were here ; which 
indeed were the bishop of Rome's spies, watching in every 
country, what was said or done against him. He had it by 
and by, by one or other of his spies : they were his rhen 



250 Sermon preached at Stamford 

altogether, his posts to work against the regaUty. In the court, 
in the noblemen's houses, at every merchant's house, those 
Observants were spying, tooting, and looking, watching and 
prying, what they might hear or see against the see of 
Rome. Take heed of these Observants. To understand the 
word observantes, mark what the poet saith in his comedy, 
Observa Davtim. . Take heed, beware and mark Davum; 
for they will be stirring in every town, in every gentleman's 
house, yea, at their very tables. Well, be wise, beware of 
them. 

Inierunt consilium, " They took a counsel." Some goodly 
thing, some weighty matter, I am sure, that these holy 
fathers consulted upon. It must needs be for the common- 
wealth, and the profit of many, that these holy fathers 
came together for. It was " to snarl or trap him in his 
words." This was their device, this was their counsel. To 
this end they gather such a company of holy fathers. " A 
council, a council : Bofitim est concilium," said one. " Yea, 
marry," quoth another, " sed bonorum." "A council is good : 
yea, sir, if it be of good men." For else what is a council, if 
it be wicked, of wicked men ? If they say, " This was done 
by a council, determined in a council ;" what is it the better, 
if the council be wicked ? The Nicene council was gathered 
of a great number of bishops and learned men ; yet had 
not one man been there, they had determined contrary to 
God's word. They were minded and earnestly bent to make 
a decree, that no priest should marry ; but one old man, 
and unmarried himself, withstood that act, and turned the 
council's mind ; so that they meddled not with that decree. 
And why? More credence is to be given to one man having 
the holy word of God for him, than to ten thousand without 
the word. If it agree with God's word, it is to be received ; 
if it agree not, it is not to be received, though a council, 
yea, though an angel from heaven, had determined it. 
Truth it is, that Christ granteth to a congregation gathered 
in his name, to be amongst them ; yea, though it be but 
two or three. There is as much granted to two or three, 
as to ten thousand, so they come in Christ's name : Ubi duo 
vel ires congregati sunt in nomine meo, ibi sum in medio 
eorum. In nomine meo. Much wickedness is done, iri no- 
mine Domini. When they come together seeking their own 
private lust, pleasures, and ambitious desires, it is not in 
nomine Domini, " in the name of the Lord." But to seek 



Sermon preached at Stamford 251 

God's glory, Christ's glory, Christ's true religion, that is 
in nomine Christi ; and then they are to be heard. But 
what was these men's counsel ? Ut illaquearent eum in ser- 
7none ; " to snarl or tangle him in his words : " tooters and 
watchers, to catch him in his word, that they might enforce 
somewhat against him. Hon est consilium adversus Domi- 
num. These were wily pies, sleighty children, children of 
the world, and craftily they handled their matters. Miserunt 
discipulos sues cum Herodianis. They would not go them- 
selves, lest they might have been known ; but he knew not 
their disciples, as they thought. And they went not alone, 
but had with them Herod's soldiers, Herod's favourers. 
This Herod was an Idumean, and was appointed by the 
Romans to govern the Jews, and to gather the tribute- 
money. Therefore he was hated among the Jews ; and so 
were those that favoured the Romans' part, and in disdain 
they were called Herodians. Now was the time come, that 
the holy patriarch prophesied, that the sceptre and kingdom 
was removed, and Christ .was born. This they should have 
marked, and received his doctrine. But they went about 
to destroy him, and therefore they brought the Herodians 
with them. Here now is an agreement in wickedness between 
the Pharisees and the Herodians against the truth : against 
Christ, against God's word they agree together ; whereas 
indeed neither loved other, but hated each other as a toad. 
So many now-a-days of our Pharisees, papists, in destroying 
the truth they agree wondrous well, whereas in private matters 
they hate one another as a toad. 

Here come me now these holy fathers from their council, 
and send their disciples with the Herodians : mark their 
behaviour, and mark Christ's behaviour. They come lowting 
and with low curtesy, as though they would creep into his 
bosom. As for Herod's men, they meddle not, but stand by 
to hear the tale as witnesses ; and if he should speak any 
thing amiss, be ready to lay hands upon him. They would 
fain rid him and destroy him ; but they would turn the envy 
of the deed upon Herod, so that they would be seen fault- 
less. It had been more meet for them to have counselled 
how to amend their faults, and to have come to Christ 
to learn his doctrine, than to study maliciously to trap him 
and to destroy him. What said they ? Magister, scimus 
quod verax es ; "Master, we know thou art a true man, 
and teachest the way of God truly. Master, we know that 



252 Sermon preached at Stamford 

thou art Torn Truth, and thou tellest the very truth, and 
sparest for no man. Thou art plain Tom Truth." Goodly 
words, but out of a cankered stomach and malicious heart ! 
Smiling speakers creep into a man's bosom, they love and 
all-to love him ; they favour his word, and call him master, 
and yet would gladly see him hanged ! These are indeed 
hypocrites, one in heart, and another in mouth ! " We know 
that thou art a true man, et viam Dei in veritate doces I " 
Yea, this is God's way, taught truly ! There is God's way, 
and man's way. Many teach men's way, but that should 
not be. We should learn via7n Dei, God's way ; and that 
truly, without mixture, temperature, blanching, powdering. 
Many teach God's way, and shall preach a very good and 
godly sermon ; but at the last they will have a blanched 
almond, one little piece of popery patched in, to powder their 
matter with, for their own lucre and glory. They make 
a mingling of the way of God and man's way together ; 
a mingle-mangle, as men serve pigs in my country. Christ 
did not so : he taught the way of God truly, without mixture, 
powdering, or blanching. These be the properties of all true 
preachers, that these confess to be in Christ. It was true 
every word that they spake. Christ is our master appointed 
of God : he was true, and taught God's way, not man's way ; 
truly, not blanching it with man's doctrine. So should we 
preachers be true men ; preachers of God's way, truly, truly, 
without regard of person : that is, for no man's pleasure 
corrupting the word, or mingle-mangle the word with man's 
invention and traditions. 

Here may patrons of benefices learn upon what manner 
of a man they should bestow their benefice : upon a true 
man, a teacher. He may not be to learn, and a scholar, 
when he should teach others ; but one learned ; able to teach, 
able and well willing to discharge his cure. But what do 
you, patrons ? Sell your benefices, or give them to your 
servants for their service, for keeping of hounds or hawks, 
for making of your gardens. These patrons regard no souls, 
neither their own nor other men's. What care they for souls, 
so they have money, though they perish, though they go to 
the devil ? Whereas indeed the office of a patron is to have 
a care, a zeal, a vigilant eye for souls' health, and to provide 
for his churches, that he is patron of; that they might be 
taught in God's word. Truly, many now-a-days strive to be 
patrons of benefices, and go to the law who should be patron. 



Sermon preached at Stamford 253 

And what strive they for, think ye ? Even which of them 
shall go to the devil first. For they regard not soul-health, 
nor the office of preaching, the office of salvation ; whereas, 
indeed, therefore are they patrons, to look to it, and to see it 
be provided for. God of his goodness and almighty power 
might ordain other ways and means of salvation ; but this 
office of preaching is it that God hath ordained, as St Paul 
saith : Cum non cognoverit inundus per sapientiam Deufn, 
placuit Deo per stultitiam prcedicationis salvos facere cre- 
dentes ; "Whereas the world by his wisdom knew not God, 
it pleased God by foolish preaching to save " credentes, " those 
that believe," per shiltitiaju prcedicationis, " by foolishness 
of preaching," or foolish preaching, it maketh no matter. 
Not that it was foolish indeed, but that the wise men of the 
world did so esteem and take the preaching of the gospel : 
whereas indeed it is most godly wisdom, and the preaching 
office is the office of salvation, and the only means that God 
hath appointed to salvation. Credentes, those that believe, be 
saved by this holy office of preaching. I would wish it were 
better looked unto and provided for, and that patrons and 
bishops should see more diligently to it, than hath been done 
afore-time. I would ask no more diligence to this office of 
salvation, than men are wont to bestow upon their worldly 
pleasures, and lucre, or commodities. Nay, would they but 
bestow half the labour and pains, and some little part of the 
expenses, it were well. To consider what hath been plucked 
from abbeys, colleges, and chantries, it is marvel no more 
to be bestowed upon this holy office of salvation. It may 
well be said by us, that the Lord complaineth by his prophet, 
Domus mea deserta, vos festinatis unusquisque in domuni 
suam. What is Christ's house, but christian souls ? But who 
maketh any provision for them? Every man scrapeth and 
getteth together for this bodily house, but the soul-health is 
neglected. Schools are not maintained ; scholars have not 
exhibition ; the preaching office decayeth. Men provide lands 
and riches for their children, but this most necessary office 
they for the most part neglect. Very few there be that help 
poor scholars ; that set their children to school to learn the 
word of God, and to make a provision for the age to come. 
This, notwithstanding, is the only way to salvation. God 
will not devise any new way, as far as I perceive, but would 
have us to use this way ordained already. This preaching 
way we ought to use, and not to look for any new way. 



254 Sermon preached at Stamford 

This office of salvation we ought to maintain, and not look 
for any other. My request is, that ye would bestow as much 
to the maintenance of this necessary office of salvation, as ye 
were wont to bestow in times past upon Romish trifles, and 
things of man's traditions. Neither do I now speak for 
myself and my convent, as the begging Friars were wont to 
do. I have enough, I thank God, and I need not to beg. 
I would every preacher were as well provided as myself, 
through this realm ; as indeed I think them as well worthy 
as myself. I wish, I say, ye would bestow as much upon this 
necessary office of salvation, as in times past ye bestowed in 
pilgrimages, in images, in gilding, painting, in masses, diriges, 
trentals, chantries, and such vain things of the Romish Pha- 
risees' and papists' inventing. Ye would do that without 
calling ; and to this will you not be ready when ye be called. 
If it be no better in time to come than hitherto looked unto, 
then England will at the last bewail it. Christ knew what a 
charge hangeth upon this necessary office of preaching, the 
office of salvation, and therefore most earnestly applied it 
himself. And when he chose his twelve apostles to send them 
forth unto this office, he first prayed all the night. He, being 
God almighty with the Father, might have given all gifts fit 
for this office ; but to teach us, he would first pray all night. 
Here is good matter for bishops and patrons to look upon; 
and not to regard so little whom they give their benefice 
unto, or whom they admit to cure the souls they have charge 
of. A notable example : Christ prayed all night, ere he would 
send them forth, ere he would put them in this preaching 
office, this most necessary office of salvation. For he saw 
that they had need of great zeal to God and to souls' health, 
that should take upon them to keep souls, and a bold courage 
and spirit, that should rebuke the world of their sin and 
wickedness. Many will choose now such a curate for their 
souls, as they may call " fool," rather than one that shall re- 
buke their covetousness, ambition, unmercifulness, uncharitabli- 
ness ; that shall be sober, discreet, apt to reprove and resist 
the gainsayers with the word of God. 

These be the properties of every good preacher : to be a 
true man ; to teach, not dreams nor inventions of men, but 
viam Dei in veritate, "the way of God truly;" and not to 
regard the personage of man ; not to creep into his bosom, 
to claw his back ; to say to the wicked he doth well, for 
filthy lucre's sake. Ah, these flatterers ! no greater mischief 



Sermon preached at Stamford 255 

^n the commonwealth, than these flatterers ! But who would 
^ave discerned this, but our Saviour Jesus Christ ? He spied 
hem out, and knew all their malicious hearts, their un- 
:haritable hearts, their dissembling hearts, and said, Quid 
me tentatis, hypocrite ? Hypocrites, hypocrites, hypocrites ! 
one in heart, another in mouth ; fair in pretence, but full of 
mischief and malicious hatred within ; he saw what was within. 
Then have at ye, ye hypocrites ! They put forth their 
question, Licet censum dare Ccp.sari, a7i non ? A perilous 
question to answer to ! This was the fruit of their counsel, 
and this was the snare laid for him. What should he do 
now ? Hold his peace ? That had been a slander to his doc- 
trine. They would have said, " Lo, how ignorant he is in the 
law, that hath no answer to this simple and plain question." 
If he affirm, and bid pay the tribute, he shall incur the hatred 
of the people, and seem to speak in favour of the Romans. 
If he would have denied it, then h^d they that they sought. 
The Herodians were ready to lay hands upon him, to have 
him to Bocardo. " To prison with him, a traitor that speak- 
eth against Caesar 1 Away with this seditious fellow ! " 

O Lord, what peril is it to have to do with these hypo- 
crites ! Who could have escaped this snare but Christ only, 
which is the wisdom of the Father, and knew all their ma- 
liciousness and crafty sleights ? And as he then by his wisdom 
overcame them, so now doubtless he giveth wisdom to all his, 
to spy out and beware of their subtle crafts. For such trains, 
traps, snares and subtleties, as these Pharisees laid for Christ, 
such have our pharisaical papists laid for Christ's preachers. 
But he mercifully ever fulfilled his promise, Dabo os et sa- 
pientiam, cui no?i possunt resistere oimies adversarii vestri : 
"I will," saith Christ, "give mouth and wisdom, which all 
your adversaries shall not be able to resist." They shall not 
be tongue-tied, they have their answer ; yea, so wise that 
their adversaries shall not be able to resist. They may well 
oppress it here in this world with power, but they cannot be 
able to overcome it with arguments of truth : no, all the pack 
of adversaries, with all their subtleties, snares, and gins. 
They may rail upon it, as in many places lewd fellows do 
against priests' marriages ; " that dame, his wife, his whore, 
&c : " but they cannot deny it by any scripture, but that 
the marriage of priests is as good and godly, as the marriage 
of any other man. For " wedlock is honourable among all 
men, and the wedded bed undefiled. And to avoid fornication, 



256 Sermon preached at Stamford 

let every man have his own wife." Well, let them rail ; let 
them do what they can against the truth. Respice fiiiem, 
"mark the end;" look upon the end. , The end is, all ad- 
versaries of the truth must be confounded and come to nought, 
neither shall they be able to resist it. And though the poor 
disciples be troubled, vexed and persecuted, " mark the end." 
The highest promotion that God can bring his unto in this 
life is, to suffer for his truth. And it is the greatest setting 
forth of his word ; it is God's seed. And one suffering for 
the truth turneth more than a thousand sermons. 

I will tell you an example of this, how God giveth mouth 
and wisdom. I was once in examination before five or six 
bishops, where I had much turmoiling. Every week thrice 
I came to examinations, and many snares and traps were 
laid to get something. Now God knoweth I was ignorant of 
the law ; but that God gave me answer and wisdom what I 
should speak. It was God indeed, for else I had never 
escaped them. At the last I was brought forth to be exa- 
mined into a chamber hanged with arras, where I was before 
wont to be examined, but now at this time the chamber was 
somewhat altered : for whereas before there was wont ever 
to be a fire in the chimney, now the fire was taken away, 
and an arras hanging hanged over the chimney, and the table 
stood near the. chimney's end ; so that I stood between the 
table and the chimney's end. There was among these 
bishops that examined me, one with whom I have been very 
familiar, and took him for my great friend, an aged man, 
and he sat next the table end. Then among all other ques- 
tions, he put forth one, a very subtle and crafty one ; and 
such one indeed as I could not think so great danger in. 
And when I should make answer ; " I pray you. Master 
Latimer," said he, " speak out ; I am very thick of hearing, 
and here be many that sit far off." I marvelled at this, that 
I was bidden speak out, and began to misdeem, and gave an 
ear to the chimney. And, Sir, there I heard a pen walking 
in the chimney behind the cloth. They had appointed one 
there to write all mine answers : for they made sure work 
that I should not start from them ; there was no starting 
from them. God was my good Lord, and gave me answer : 
I could never else have escaped it. The question was this : 
" Master Latimer, do you not think on your conscience, that 
you have been suspected of heresy ? " A subtle question, a 
very subtle question. There was no holding of peace would 



Sermon preached at Stamford 257 

serve. To hold my peace had been to grant myself faulty. 
To answer it was every way full of danger. But God, which 
alway hath given me answer, helped me, or else I could 
never have escaped it ; and delivered me from their hands. 
Many one have had the like gracious deliverance, and been 
endued with God's wisdom and God's Spirit, which all their 
adversaries could not be able to resist. 

Oste?idite mihi jiuniistua census : " Shew me," said he, 
"a penny of the tribute money." They laid snares to de- 
stroy him, but he overturneth them in their own traps : qui 
cojjiprehendit astutos in fallacia eorum ; " He taketh the 
crafty in their own subtle gins and snares : " but not mali- 
ciously to destroy them, as they maliciously would have seen 
him hanged ; but mercifully to turn them from their wicked 
imaginations, that they might consider that "no wisdom, no 
subtle crafts, nor counsel is against the Lord," and so repent 
and become new men. Af illi obtulerunt illi detiarium ; 
" And they brought him a denary," a piece of their current 
coin, that was worth ten of our usual pence : such another 
piece as out testoon. And he said, Cujus est imago hcec et 
siiperscriftio ? Diaint ei, Ccesaris : "Whose image is this, 
and superscription ? They said, Caesar's : " for now was Jewry 
brought under the bondage of the Romans, and therefore 
used they the Roman coin, and had upon it both Caesar's 
image, and Caesar's superscription. Then answered Jesus, 
Reddite ergo qucE sunt Casaris Ccesari, et qucB sunt Dei 
Deo : " Pay to Caesar that is due to Caesar, and to God that 
which is due to God." Make not a mingle-mangle of them : 
but give to God his own, give to Caesar his own. To God give 
thy soul, thy faith, thy hope, thy obedient mind, to keep his 
word, and frame thy life thereafter : to Caesar give tribute, 
tax, subsidy, and all other duties pertaining to him ; as to 
have him in thy honour and reverence, and to obey his just 
laws and righteous commandments, &c. 

But because the time is past, I will here make an end 
for this forenoon ; desiring you to pray to God for his help : 
for at afternoon I purpose to begin again at this text, and 
to go forth as God shall give me his grace. Now let us all 
say together the Lord's prayer. " Our Father which art in 
heaven," &c. 



250 Sermon preached at Stamford 



TJie Residue of the Gospel, declared in the Afternoon, 
by M. Latimer. 

Kcddtlc Cr^aiiqti.c sunt C<csaris, el ijiurstiiil Iki Deo.—'S\KTV. xxii. 21. 
Vielil lu Casar that helonj^cth to Caesar, and to Ciod that belongeth 
to (loci. 

Yl may perceive by that we have said, who sixake these 
words, and upon what occasion they were spoken. Our 
Saviour Christ spake them to the tempting Pharisees, to the 
crafty and subtle hollow-hearted Pharisees ; willing them to 
know their duty by their own confession, and to give to 
Caesar his duty, and to God his duty. Our Saviour Christ 
spake them. If he spake them, we ought to regard them. 
Regard them, I say, and make much of them ; for though 
they were then spoken to them, yet in them they were 
spoken to all the world. I use to make a rehearsal of that I 
spake before, but because the time is short, I will omit it. 
The service must be done, and the day goeth fast away. 
Therefore I will to my matter, and leave the rehearsal. 

These words be words of great importance, and would 
well be considered : for he that doth this, receiveth great 
benefits by it ; but he that doth it not, incurrelh great damage 
and danger. The occasion was a counsel taken among these 
holy fathers to snarl Christ. A good and charitable deed ! 
Yet were they holy men, holy fathers, full of charity up to 
the hard ears. This they learned in their council ; and this 
now they set on broach. But Christ now causeth them to 
make answer to their own question, as he did also a little 
before. When he was come up into Jerusalem, and had 
driven out the buyers and sellers in the temple ; the arch- 
Pharisees, Provincials, and Abbots-Pharisees, came stoutly to 
him as he was preaching in the temple, and said to him, Qua 
auctoritate ista facis ? Aut quis dedit tihi istatn auctorita- 
teni ? " By what authority dost thou these things ? Who 
hath given thee this authority ? "We have the rule of the 
people oi Ciod, we have given thee no such authority." A 
wondrous thing ! Christ had testimony of his Father : "This 
is my beloved Son, hear him." John had borne him wit- 
ness, saying, " Behcjld the Lamb of (iod that taketh away 
the sins of the world." His works and miracles were testi- 



Sermon preached at Stamford 259 

monies that his doctrine was of God. Well, all this would 
not serve. He must have license of these holy fathers, or 
else all is nothing worth. Christ answered not directly to 
their question, but asked them another question, and made 
them give answer against themselves ; and as it were with 
one wedge drived out another. " The baptism of John, was 
it of God, or of man ? Was John sent of God ? Had he his 
authority of God or of man ? " Here he driveth them to con- 
fess his doctrine to be of God. For John, whom they could 
not deny to have been sent from God, bare witness that his 
doctrine was true. If they had confessed this, he would 
have inferred, " Why believe ye him not ?" If they should 
have said, " John was not of God," then would all the people 
have been against them ; yea, in a hurly-burly have stoned 
them. This they considered within themselves, and yet their 
malicious hearts would not bear it to confess the truth : nay, 
rather, like wise gentlemen, they answered, " We know not : 
we cannot tell." These arch-Pharisees thought nothing might 
be done or taught without their license, nor otherwise but 
as they pleased to interpret. They were like our religion 
and clergy, that thought nothing might be taught but 
as they pleased. They would pay no tax nor tribute. 
They had their immunities, privileges, and grants, from the 
Roman bishop. And to maintain this they alleged many 
scriptures, as thus, Nolite tangere Christos meos ; which is, 
"Touch not mine anointed or consecrated people." Which 
words the Lord spake by the Israelites in Egypt, warning 
king Pharao to leave and cease from persecuting the Israel- 
ites : and it maketh as much for our clergy's immunity and 
proveth it as well, as if a man alleged, Quern terra, pontus, 
to prove that an ape hath a tail. 

Well, they answered, Ccesaris, " Caesar's." They con- 
fessed it was Caesar's money, and Caesar's image and writing 
upon it. Here Christ compelled them to make answer unto 
their own question ; and if envy should arise, to take it 
themselves : for they confessed it to be Csesar's. Then 
said he, " Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God 
that is due to God." This answer of Christ I would have 
you all to learn. Give to your Caesar, to your king, to 
our most noble king Edward, our Caesar, our king and 
magistrate appointed and given to us of God, — give to him 
that which is due to him. This is a commandment of God, 
as are these, "Thou shalt not murder: Thou shalt not 



26o Sermon preached at Stamford 

steal, nor bear farse witness against thy neighbours." And 
as thou art bound upon peril of thy soul to obey the other ; 
so upon peril of thy soul thou art bound to obey and keep 
this. Look well upon it, for it is upon peril of thy soul. 
JDate, " Give, give ; " a heavy word to a covetous heart, to a 
rebellious heart. They would nor hear reddite, or date, 
"pay, or give;" but "take, catch, keep fast." \Ve are all 
bound to live in obedience unto our king, under his just and 
rightwise laws and commandments. Christ came, indeed, to 
deliver us from burthens and bondage, but that was not from 
civil and politic laws and obedience. He came to deliver 
us from the greatest bondage that can be, from sin and 
damnation. The heaviest burthen that can be is sin ; and 
in comparison of it, all other burthens are but light and easy 
matters to bear. Therefore Christ came to deliver us from 
that, and gave his body to be torn upon the cross for that. 
Neither could any work, or law, or sacrifice redeem us from 
that, but Christ only, I never preached in Lincolnshire 
afore, nor came here afore, save once when I went to take 
orders at Lincoln, which was a good while ago ; therefore 
I cannot say much of Lincolnshire, for I know it not. But 
1 dare say, if Lincolnshire be as other places that I know, 
this text condemneth a great many of Lincolnshire, and 
driveth them down to hell for breaking of this command- 
ment, "Give to Caesar that which is due to Caesar, and to 
God that which is due to God." 

The office of a magistrate is grounded upon God's word, 
and is plainly described of St Paul, writing unto the Romans, 
where he sheweth, that all souls, that is to say, all men 
ought to obey magistrates, for they are ordained of God ; 
and to resist them is to resist against God. " For he is 
God's minister, ordained to punish the wicked, and maintain 
the good." Wherefore we ought to pay to him tribute, 
custom, taxes, and other things that he requireth upon us, 
as Christ saith here, Reddite, " give to Csesar." How much 
we should give, he defineth not, but leaveth it to Caesar's 
officers to determine, and to his council to appoint Christ 
was not the emperor's treasurer : therefore he meddled not 
with that point, but left it to the treasurer to define and 
determine. He went about another vocation, — to preach 
unto the people their duty, and to obey their princes, kings, 
emperors, and magistrates ; and to bid them give that the 
king requireth of them ; not to appoint a king what he shall 



Sermon preached at Stamford 261 

require of them. It is meet for every man to keep his own 
vocation, and diligently walk in it ; and with faithfulness to 
study to be occupied in that God hath called him unto, and 
not to be busy in that God hath not called him unto. 
Therefore saith Christ, " Give to C?esar," but he appointeth 
not how much ; for that should his treasurer know, and 
should warn him of it when he hath enough ; that the 
people be not oppressed with unnecessary burthens, nor that 
the king's treasures be to seek when they should be occupied. 
The king must have his treasures aforehand, what chance 
soever come suddenly. It is no reason, when the king 
should occupy his treasure in maintenance of a common- 
wealth, in defence of a country, in maintaining of his wars, 
that then his money should be in thy purse to seek, and 
ungathered. Nay, he must have it in a readiness, at hand, 
that it be not to seek. And he must have as much as is 
necessary for him ; for so much is due to a king as is 
necessary, and so much may he require by the law of God, 
and take of his commons, as is necessary. And that must 
not thou, nor I, that are subjects, appoint ; but the king 
himself must appoint it ; his council must appoint it. We 
must give it, we must pay it ; for it is due to the king, and 
upon peril of thy soul thou must pay it. And as he that 
taketh my tippet or my cloak doth me wrong, and is a thief; 
so he that doth not pay to the king that is his due, without 
fraud or guile, doth the king wrong, and is in peril of his 
soul for so doing. Well ; mark it well now, and see whether 
this text be a nipping text for covetous men, or no : " Give 
to Caesar that is due to Csesar." 

When the parliament, the high court of this realm, is 
gathered together, and there it is determined that every man 
shall pay a fifteenth part of his goods to the king ; then 
commissions come forth, and he that in sight of men, in his 
Cattle, corn, sheep, and other goods, is worth an hundred 
mark or ^n 'hundred pound, will set himself at ten pound; 
he will be worth no more to the king but after ten pound : 
tell me now whether this be theft or no ? His cattle, corn, 
sheep, in every man's eyes, shall be worth two hundred 
pounds besides other things, as money and plate ; and he 
will marry his daughter, and give with her four or five 
hundred mark ; and yet at the valuation he will be a twenty 
pound man : doth he give to Csesar that which is due to 
Csesar ? Doth he not rather rob the king of his bound duty 



262 Sermon preached at Stamford 

and debt, that he owed to the king ? Yes, it is very theft ; 
and thou mightest with as good conscience take my cloak 
or my tippet from me, as so unjustly take or withhold from 
the king that which the parliament hath given unto the 
king. It is thy bounden duty to pay him truly that which 
is granted ; for it is due debt, and upon peril of thy soul 
thou art bound to obey it. Yea, I will say more : if the 
king should require of thee an unjust request, yet art thou 
bound to pay it, and not to resist and rebel against the 
king. The king, indeed, is in peril of his soul, for asking 
of an unjust request; and God will in his due time reckon 
with him for it : but thou must obey thy king, and not take 
upon thee to judge him. God is the king's judge, and 
doubtless will grievously punish him if he do any thing 
unrighteously. Therefore pray thou for thy king, and pay 
him his duty, and disobey him not. And know this, that 
whensoever there is any unjust exaction laid upon thee, it is 
a plague and punishment for thy sin, as all other plagues 
are ; as are hunger, dearth, pestilence, and such other. We 
marvel we are plagued as we be ; and I think verily this 
unjust and unfaithful dealing with our princes is one great 
cause of our plague : look therefore every man upon his 
conscience. Ye shall not be judged by worldly policy at 
the latter day, but by God's word. Sermo quern locutus 
sum vobis, ipse judkabit z'os in noinssimo die : " The word 
that I have spoken to you, that shall judge you at the lattei 
day." Look well now every man upon his conscience, and 
see whether ye have done this commandment of God. Give 
to your king that which is due to him ; and he that findeth 
himself guilty, let him amend in time to come. " This is 
hard gear, and sore gear," thou wilt say. " Give, give ! 
I have wife and children, and great charge ! " Well, I shall 
tell thee, it minisheth not thy stock one farthing at the 
year's end. Hearken what God saith : Si audieritis verba 
mea, " If you will hear my words," saith God, " and keep 
that I command thee, I will bless thee." And, Si non 
audieritis, " If ye will not hear my words, and do my 
commandments, thou shalt be cursed," &c. What is blessing ? 
Not wagging of the fingers, as our bishops were wont : but 
it is, " I will favour thee, and increase thy goods, thy corn, 
thy cattle, thy ox, thy sheep ; and in all thy business thou 
shalt prosper and go forward." And what is the curse, but 
to be out of God's favour? " I will impoverish thee ; thy corn, 



Sermon preached at Stamford 263 

thy cattle, thy ox, thy sheep, shall not prosper ; what thou 
taicest in hand, it shall ■ not go forward." This was not 
taught in times past : men had pilgrimages, images, masses, 
trentals, &c. 

But I would have you muse of these two points : cursed, 
if thou hear not God's word commanding thee to pay thy 
duty to the king ; and blessed, if thou hear it and keep it. 
I would have you to muse of these two things : that it 
shall not minish thy stock. Shew me one man in all 
England, that is the poorer for paying the king his duty, 
for being a true dealing man, a good alms-man, &c. Many 
have come to poverty by dicing, carding, riot, whoredom, 
and such like ; but never no man by truth, mercy, alms, 
right dealing with the king. In the Cardinal's^ time men 
were put to their oaths, to swear what they were worth. 
It was a sore thing, and a thing I would wish not to be 
followed. O Lord, what perjury was in England by that 
swearing ! I think this realm fareth the worse yet for that 
perjury ; for doubtless, many a one willingly and wittingly 
forsware themselves at that time. " It is a dear time," thou 
wilt say, " and men have much ado to live ; therefore it is 
good policy to set myself much less than I am." Well, that 
is thy worldly policy, and with it thou runnest into the curse 
of God for breaking his word and commandment, " Give to 
Caesar that which is due to Caesar." I will tell thee a good 
policy to keep thy stock, and to maintain thine estate; not 
a policy of the world, but of God's word ; and it is this : 
Qucsrite primum regnum Dei et justitiam ejus, et hcec omnia 
adjicientur vobis ; "Seek first the kingdom of God, and the 
righteousness of it, and all things shall be plenteously given 
to you." Dost thou not believe this to be true ? Is Christ 
a hollow man, an untrue man, a dissembler ? The Pharisees 
make him a true man, and we make him a false harlot. 
He is a true man ; and his words and promise are true. 
Nay, we be false, hollow-hearted, and therefore justly 
punished. For if we would credit his words, it should 
without doubt be given us abundantly upon heaps ; yea, 
more than we could desire. 

When we pray for things unto almighty God, what ask 

we ? Do we ask forthwith at the first chop our necessaries ? 

Nay, Christ taught us first to pray, "Our Father, which art 

in heaven ; hallowed be thy name ; Thy kingdom come ; Thy 

' Cardinal Wolsey. 



264 Sermon preached at Stamford 

will be done in earth as it is in heaven," &c. First, we Dray 
these petitions for faith, hope, and charity ; that God's hot. our 
may in all things be set out among us ; and then we pray 
after for bodily things. But now we leave these petitions, 
and would be in panem nostrum, " our daily bread," at the 
first dash : we would have our daily bread at the first chop ; 
and so we have that, we force little of the other. We will 
not say in words, that we think God false, but in deeds w^ 
plainly affirm it : for we trust him not, neither believe his 
promise when he biddeth us, " Give, give ; I will bless ye, I 
will make good my word." Nay, nay, we will scrape and 
scrawl, and catch and pull to us all that we may get. Alii 
dividunt sua, et ditiores fiunt ; alii rapiunt noti sua, ei semper 
in egestate sunt : "Some men," saith Salomon, " divide their 
own goods ; they pay the king his duty, every man his own ; 
give alms, and yet are more richer ; they have enough and 
enough. Other rob other men ; scratch and scrape all that 
they may come by ; never content, never enough ; heap to 
heap ; and yet are they always beggars." 

Qui benedicit impinguabitur, " He that blesseth shall be 
fat and wealthy : " he that blesseth, not with wagging his 
fingers, but helping the poor people, he shall be blessed and 
ever have enough. God will bless him, God will increase 
him. And indeed so ought men to consider their gifts and 
goods to be given, ut illorum copia aliorum succurrat 
inopicB ; that their abundance might succour the necessity, 
poverty, and misery of their poor neighbours ; and not to 
waste it, consume it in riot and excess, but in deeds of 
mercy, in deeds of charity, and pity upon the poor. Qui 
miseretur pajiperis, feneratur Domino : " He that hath mercy 
upon the poor, he lendeth upon usury unto the Lord." This 
is a good usury, to make God thy debtor. Many lend upon 
worldly usury, which is surely a very wicked thing, and God 
forbiddeth it. But this usury God commandeth, and pro- 
miseth to supply the lack of it in thy coffers. He will be 
debtor, he will be paymaster. Thou shalt not find thy stock 
diminished at the year's end by keeping God's commandment, 
but rather blessed and increased. " Give therefore unto the 
king that is due unto the king ; et quce sunt Dei Deo, and 
give to God that which is God's." What is God's ? That 
I give at God's bidding : the tithes, oblations, first-born of 
beasts, and sacrifice-cattle ; which all God appointed unto the 
Jews to the maintenance of their church-ministers, of the 



Sermon preached at Stamford 265 

clergy, poor widows, fatherless children, maintenance of poor 
scholars. This was the cause that God assigned the Jews to 
pay their tithes ; and until the coming of Christ they were 
due by God's law, and might by the law given to Moses be 
claimed. But now that law is at an end, neither can they 
be claimed any more by that law. Notwithstanding, now in 
the time of the new testament, the princes be bound to pro- 
vide a sufficient living for the ministers, as St Paul saith. 
Qui evangelium prcedicant de evangelio vivant. They that 
preach the gospel ; this is the ministry of salvation, preaching 
of the gospel, and unto such ministers ye be bound to give a 
sufficient living. Communicate catechizanti in omnibus bo?iis : 
" Give part to him that teacheth you in all good things : " 
give him part of all your goods : see he have sufficient living. 
But who shall appoint him a sufficient living? himself? Nay. 
Who then ? you ? Nay, neither. The king must appoint 
him sufficient to live upon ; for I think verily there are a 
great many, which if the minister should have no living but 
at their appointment, he should not have clouting leather to 
piece his shoes with ; no, not clouting leather to his shoes. 
The king therefore must appoint the ministers their livings 
by his law ; and that living that the king appointeth they 
must claim, and you must pay it to them truly ; for it is their 
duty, and it is theft to withdraw it or hold it from them. 
For God commandeth you to obey your king's laws, and by 
the same laws the king giveth the minister his tithes and 
other duties. Therefore upon peril of thy soul thou art 
bound to obey thy king, and to pay thy curate that tithe 
that thou art commanded. 

But some will say, " Our curate is naught ; an ass-head ; 
a dodipole ; a lack-latin, and can do nothing. Shall I pay 
him my tithes, that doth us no good, nor none will do ? " 
"Yea," I say, "thou must pay him his duty; and if he be 
such a one, complain to the bishop." " We have complained 
to the ordinary, and he is as negligent as he." Complain to 
the council. "Sir, so have we done, but no remedy can 
be had." Well, I can tell where thou shalt complain ; 
complain to God, he will surely hear thee, he will remedy it. 
Christ saw the people lying, tanquani oves non habentes 
pastores, " as sheep having no shepherd." They had bishops, 
scribes, and Pharisees ; curates in name, a great many ; yet 
were they tatiquam oves non habentes pastorem, " as sheep 
having no shepherd." What is that to say ? They had no 



266 Sermon preached at Stamford 

true teachers ; they had no preachers of the law of God to 
them. What remedy taught Christ for it? withdraw their 
livings ? Nay. Make tumults ? Nay : but rogate Domi- 
num 7nessis, " Pray the Lord of the harvest." Pray, pray. 
Prayer is the remedy that never faileth : when all other 
faileth, this never faileth. Therefore pray unto God, and 
he will either turn his heart, and make him better ; or re- 
move him from thee, and send a better in his place ; or else 
take him away altogether. So will the Lord do with any 
other oppressors of the poor : either he will turn their hearts, 
and make them better ; or else remove them, and take them 
quite away. Therefore let men be patient and suffer, and 
pray unto God for deliverance from their troubles, and not 
think to remedy it themselves ; but pray to God, and he will 
remedy it. Pray, I say, and take patience, and you shall see 
the Lord will in due time remedy it. 

There be many that turn this text clean contrary ; for 
they yield to Caesar that which is God's, and to God that 
which is Caesar's. They had money enough to build monas- 
teries, chantries, masses, year-days, trentals, to gild images, 
&c. And all this they did, say they, to honour God with. 
They would worship God with copes, torches, tapers, candles, 
and an hundred things more, that God never required at 
their hands. God requireth their hearts to fear him, and 
love him, and studiously to walk before him ; but this inward 
service we will not give him. Nay, we give Caesar our heart, 
and God our outward service, as all such do as have received 
the Interim.^ God should possess our whole hearts, and we 
should most studiously walk, every man in his vocation, 
according to the word of God, according to his command- 
ments ; obeying our king, and succouring the poor and 
needy, as he hath commanded us. And this is God's true 
service, and the thing that belongeth to God. 

If this be true, what is become of our forefathers? I 
answer, it is a vain and unprofitable question : either it needs 
not, or it boots not. Whatsoever they did, let us do well ; 
let us keep God's bidding, God's commandments, and then 

' A statement of doctrine drawn up in the year 1548 by Romish 
and Protestant divines, at the command of the emperor Charles V. 
The name of the Interim was given to this system of doctrine, because 
it was intended to remain in force only until a free General Council 
could be held, for the purpose of settling the religious controversies 
which had arisen in Germany. Sleidan, History of the Reformation, 
pp. 458, &c. : Robertson, Charles V. Book ix. 



Sermon preached at Stamford 267 

are we safe. When one dieth, we must have bells ringing, 
singing, and much ado : but to what purpose ? Those that 
die in the favour of God are well ; those that die out of 
the favour of God, this can do them no good. Ubi ceciderit 
lignum, ibi erit ; " Where the tree falleth, there it shall 
remain." Study therefore to live in the favour and grace 
of God, in repentance, in amendment of life ; and then diest 
thou well. Further, to the question of our forefathers, God 
knoweth his elect, and diligently watcheth and keepeth them, 
so that all things serve .to their salvation. The nature of 
fire is to burn all that is laid in it; yet God kept the 
three young men in Babylon, that they burnt not. And 
Moses saw a bush on fire, but it burnt not. So false doctrine 
as fire burneth, it corrupteth : but God kept his elect, that 
they were not corrupt with it, but always put their trust 
in one everliving God, through the death of Jesus Christ our 
Lord. In Elias' time idolatry and superstition reigned ; so 
that Elias said, Domine, altaria tua subverterunt, " Lord, 
they have destroyed thine altars, and slain thy prophets 
and preachers, and I am left alone." But the Lord answered 
him, " I have reserved to myself seven thousand men that 
have not bowed their knees to Baal:" so God, I trust, re- 
served our forefathers, in so perilous times, more graciously 
than we can think. Let us thank God, then, for the 
gracious light of his word sent unto us ; and pray for our 
gracious king and his council, that set it forth unto us. And 
as for our forefathers, seeing we have no charge given us 
of God, leave them, and commend them unto God's mercy, 
who disposed better for them than we can wish. 

But some will say now, " What need we preachers then ? 
God can save his elect without preachers." A goodly reason ! 
God can save my life without meat and drink ; need I none 
therefore ? God can save me from burning, if I were in 
the fire ; shall I run into it therefore ? No, no ; I must 
keep the way that God hath ordained, and use the ordinary 
means that God hath assigned, and not seek new ways 
This office of preaching is the only ordinary way that God 
hath appointed to save us all by. Let us maintain this, for 
I know none other ; neither think I God will appoint or 
devise any other. 

" Pay therefore to Cssar that which is due to Cassar." 
And this said Christ by an heathen king, a paynim : how 
much more ought we to pay to our Caesar, our liege lord 



268 Sermon preached at Stamford 

and king, a christian king, and so godly and virtuous a 
learned king ! And " pay to God that is due to God : " 
tithes and all duties belonging to the ministers and preachers 
of this office of salvation, give to them without dissembling, 
without withdrawing or abridging of their duties. Take 
heed of lying, and setting thyself at less than thou art. 
Mark the example of Ananias and Saphira his wife : they 
died suddenly for their lying and dissimulation in the like 
matter. 

Well, this was Christ's doctrine : this was his answer : 
" Give to Csesar that which is Csesar's, and to God that 
which is God's." Et non potuerunt reprehendere verbum 
ejus coram populo : "And they could not find fault in his 
word before the people ; " it was so just, so consonant with 
scriptures and with reason. Yet afterward they falsified 
his word before Pilate, accusing him, Hiinc deprehendijnus 
evertentem ge?item, et vetantem tributa dari C(zsari ; " We 
found this fellow turning away the people's hearts, and 
forbidding the tribute to be given to Ccesar." These be 
perilous people to meddle withal, malicious and uncharitable; 
that care not what slander they accuse a man of. Deny : 
they are ready to accuse. Affirm : they will yet falsify 
his word. Then it is best to say nothing at all. Nay, not 
so. Let us speak God's truth, and live according to his 
commandment ; he shall deliver us from the hands of our 
adversaries, and make us safe in his heavenly kingdom. Let 
us, I say, do God's bidding and commandment. Give to our 
king our duties. Truly we shall have never the less ; it shall 
not minish our stock, we shall rather have the more. For 
God is true of his promise. Let us maintain the necessary 
office of salvation ; pay to the ministers the things appointed 
them ; maintain scholars and schools ; help the poor widows 
and fatherless children ; study to do good while we have 
time in this present life : so shall the Lord in this life 
bless us, and after this life give us eternal life through 
Jesus Christ ; to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, 
be all laud and honour. Amen. 

Marvel not that I use at the sermon's end to make 

prayer, for I do it not of singularity : but when I am at 

home, and in the country where I go, sometime when the 

poor people come and ask at me, I appose^ them myself, 

' Question, examine. 



Sermon preached at Stamford 269 

or cause my servant to appose them, of the Lord's prayer ; 
and they answer some, " I can say my Latin Pater-noster ; " 
some, "I can say the old Pater-noster, but not the new." 
Therefore that all that cannot say it may learn, I use before 
the sermon and after to say it. Wherefore now I beseech 
you, let us say it together : 
"Our Father, which art," &c. 



SERMONS ON THE LORD'S PRAYER 

Certaiti Sermons made by the Right Revere?id Father in God, 
Master Doctor Latimer, before the Right Virtuous and 
Ho7tourable Lady Katherine, Duchess of Suffolk, in the 
year of our Lord, 1552. 

Our Father, which art in heaven. — Matthew vi. 9. 

I HAVE entered of late in the way of preaching, and 
spoken many things of prayer, and rather of prayer than of 
any other thing : for I think there is nothing more necessary 
to be spoken of, nor more abused than prayer was by the 
craft and subtilty of the devil ; for many things were taken 
for prayer when they were nothing less. Therefore at this 
same time also I have thought it good to entreat of prayer, 
to the intent that it might be known how precious a thing 
right prayer is. I told you, 

First, What prayer is. 

Secondarily, To whom we ought to pray. 

Thirdly, Where, and in what place we ought to pray. And, 

Fourthly, I told you the diversity of prayer, namely, of 
the common prayer, and the private. 

These and such like things I have dilated and expounded 
unto you in the open pulpit. 

Now at the present time I intend as by the way of a 
lecture, at the request of my most gracious lady, to expound 
unto you, her household servants, and other that be willing 
to hear, the right understanding and meaning of this most 
perfect prayer which our Saviour himself taught us, at the 
request of his disciples, which prayer we call the Paternoster. 
This prayer of our Lord may be called a prayer above all 
prayers ; the principal and most perfect prayer ; which prayer 
ought to be regarded above all others, considering that our 
Saviour himself is the author of it ; he was the maker of this 
prayer, being very God and very man. He taught us this 
prayer, which is a most perfect schoolmaster, and commanded 

270 



Jr^irst Sermon on the Lord's Prayer 271 

us to say it : which prayer containeth great and wonderful 
things, if a learned man had the handhng of it. But as for 
me, such things as I have conceived by the reading of learned 
men's books, so far forth as God will give me his grace and 
Spirit, I will shew unto you touching the very meaning of it, 
and what is to be understood by every word contained in this 
prayer ; for there is no word idle or spoken in vain. For it 
must needs be perfect, good, and of great importance, being 
our Saviour's teaching, which is the wisdom of God itself. 
There be many other psalms and prayers in scripture very 
good and godly ; and it is good to know them : but it is 
with this prayer, the Lord's Prayer, I say, like as with the 
law of love. All the laws of Moses, as concerning what is to 
be done to please God, how to walk before him uprightly 
and godly, all such laws are contained in this law of love, 
Diliges Dominum Deutu tuu/n ex toto corde tuo, et in iota 
afiima tiia, et i?i tota mente tua ; et proximum sicut teipsum : 
" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with 
all thy soul, and with all thy mind ; and thy neighbour as 
thyself." Even so is it with this prayer. For like as the 
law of love is the sum and abridgment of the other laws, so 
this prayer is the sum and abridgment of all other prayers : 
all the other prayers are contained in this prayer ; yea, what- 
soever mankind hath need of to soul and body, that same is 
contained in this prayer. 

This prayer hath two parts : it hath a preface, which 
some call a salutation or a loving entrance ; secondarily, the 
prayer itself. The entrance is this : Cum oratis, dicite, 
Pater noster, qui es in cxlis ; "When ye pray, say, Our 
Father, which art in heaven." As who should say, "You 
christian people, you that bear the name of Christians, must 
pray so." 

Before I go any further, I must put you in remembrance 
to consider how much we be bound to our Saviour Christ, 
that he would vouchsafe to teach us to pray, and in this 
prayer to signify unto us the good-will which our heavenly 
Father beareth towards us. Now to the matter. 

" Our Father." These words pertain not to the petitions : 
they be but an entering, a seeking favour at God's hand : yet 
if we well weigh and consider them, they admonish us of 
many things and strengthen our faith wondrous well. For 
this word, " Father," signifieth that we be Christ's brothers, 
and that God is our Father. He is the eldest Son : he is the 



272 The First Sermon 

Son of God by nature, we be his sons by adoption through his 
goodness ; therefore he biddeth us to call him our Father ; 
which is to be had in fresh memory and great reputation. 
For here we are admonished how that we be reconciled unto 
God ; we, which before-times were his enemies, are made now 
the children of God, and inheritors of everlasting life. This 
we be admonished by this word, " Father." So that it is a 
word of much importance and great reputation : for it con- 
firmeth our faith, when we call him Father. Therefore our 
Saviour, when he teacheth us to call God " Father," teacheth 
us to understand the fatherly affection which God beareth 
tov/ards us ; which thing maketh us bold and hearty to call 
upon him, knowing that he beareth a good-will towards us, 
and that he will surely hear our prayers. When we be in 
trouble, we doubt of a stranger, whether he will help us or 
not : but our Saviour commanding us to call God, " Father," 
teacheth us to be assured of the love and good-will of God 
toward us. So by this word " Father," we learn to stablish 
and to comfort our faith, knowing most assuredly that he will 
be good unto us. For Christ was a perfect schoolmaster : he 
lacked no wisdom : he knew his Father's will and pleasure ; 
he teacheth us, yea, and most certainly assureth us, that God 
will be no cruel judge, but a loving Father. Here we see 
what commodities we have in this word, " Father." 

Seeing now that we find such commodities by this one 
word, we ought to consider the whole prayer with great dili- 
gence and earnest mind. For there is no word nor letter con- 
tained in this prayer, but it is of great importance and weight ; 
and therefore it is necessary for us to know and understand it 
thoroughly, and then to speak it considerately with great de- 
votion : else it is to no purpose to speak the words without 
understanding ; it is but lip-labour and vain babbling, and so 
unworthy to be called prayer ; as it was in times past used in 
England. Therefore when you say this prayer, you must 
well consider what you say : for it is better once said de- 
liberately with understanding, than a thousand times without 
understanding : which is in very deed but vain babbling, and 
so, more a displeasure than pleasure unto God. For the 
matter lieth not in much saying, but in well saying. So, if it 
be said to the honour of God, then it hath his eifect, and we 
shall have our petitions. For God is true in his promises : 
and our Saviour, knowing him to be well affected towards us, 
commandeth us therefore to call him Father. 



On the Lord's Prayer 273 

Here you must understand, that like as our Saviour was 
most earnest and fervent in teaching us how to pray, and call 
upon God for aid and help, and for things necessary both tO' 
our souls and bodies ; so the devil, that old serpent, with nO' 
less diligence endeavoureth himself to let and stop our prayers,, 
so that we shall not call upon God. And amongst other his 
lets, he hath one especially wherewith he thinketh to ke.ep us- 
from prayer, which is, the remembrance of our sins. When 
he perceiveth us to be disposed to pray, he cometh with his- 
craft and subtile conveyances, saying, " What, wilt thou pray 
unto God for aid and help ? Knowest thou not that thou art 
a wicked sinner, and a transgressor of the law of God ? Look 
rather to be damned, and judged for thy ill doings, than tO' 
receive any benefit at his hands. Wilt thou call him ' Father,' 
which is so holy a God, and thou art so wicked and miser- 
able a sinner?" This the devil will say, and trouble our 
minds, to stop and let us from our prayer ; and so to give us 
occasion not to pray unto God. In this temptation we must 
seek for some remedy and comfort : for the devil doth put us- 
in remembrance of our sins to that end, to keep us from 
prayer and invocation of God. The remedy for this tempta- 
tion is to call our Saviour to remembrance, who hath taught 
us to say this prayer. He knew his Father's pleasure; he 
knew what he did. When he commanded us to call God our 
Father, he knew we should find fatherly affections in God 
towards us. Call this, I say, to remembrance, and again re- 
member that our Saviour hath cleansed through his passion 
all our sins, and taken away all our wickedness ; so that as 
many as believe in him shall be the children of God. In 
such wise let us strive and fight against the temptations of the 
devil ; which would not have us to call upon God, because we 
be sinners. Catch thou hold of our Saviour, believe in him, 
be assured in thy heart that he with his suffering took away 
all thy sins. Consider again, that our Saviour calleth us to 
prayer, and commandeth us to pray. Our sins let us, and 
withdraw us from prayer; but our Saviour maketh them 
nothing : when we believe in him, it is like as if we had no 
sins. For he changeth with us : he taketh our sins and 
wickedness from us, and giveth unto us his holiness, righteous- 
ness, justice, fulfilling of the law, and so, consequently, ever- 
lasting life : so that we be like as if we had done no sin at 
all ; for his righteousness standeth us in so good stead, as 
though we of our own selves had fulfilled the law to the. 



274 The First Sermon 

uttermost. Therefore our sins cannot let us, nor withdraw 
us from prayer : for they be gone ; they are no sins ; they 
cannot be hurtful unto us. Christ dying for us, as all the 
scripture, both of the new and old Testament, witnesseth, 
Dolores ftostros ipse portavit, " He hath taken away our 
sorrows." Like as when I owe unto a man an hundred 
pound : the day is expired, he will have his money ; I have 
it not, and for lack of it I am laid in prison. In such dis- 
tress cometh a good friend, and saith, " Sir, be of good cheer, 
I will pay thy debts ; " and forthwith payeth the whole sum, 
and setteth me at liberty. Such a friend is our Saviour. He 
hath paid our debts, and set us at liberty ; else we should 
have been damned world without end in everlasting prison 
and darkness. Therefore, though our sins condemn us, yet 
when we allege Christ and believe in him, our sins shall not 
hurt us. For St John saith, Si quis peccaverii, advocatum 
habenius apud Patreni, Jestim Christum justuin, " We have 
an advocate with God the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 
Mark that he saith, Advocatum, 7io?i advocatos. He speaketh 
singularly, not plurally. We have one advocate, not 
many ; neither saints, nor anybody else, but only him, and 
none other, neither by the way of mediation, nor by the way 
of redemption. He only is sufficient, for he only is all the 
■doer. Let him have all the whole praise ! Let us not with- 
draw from him his majesty, and give it to creatures : for he 
only satisfieth for the sins of the whole world ; so that all 
that believe in Christ be clean from all the filthiness of their 
sins. For St John Baptist saith, Ecce Agnus Dei qui tollit 
peccata 7?m>idi, " Behold the Lamb of God which taketh 
away the sins of the world." Doth the devil call thee from 
prayer ? Christ calleth thee unto it again : for so it is written, 
I?i hoc apparuit Filius Dei, ut destruat opera diaboli ; "To 
that end the Son of God appeared, to destroy the works of 
the devil." 

But mark here : scripture speaketh not of impenitent 
sinners ; Christ suffered not for them : his death remedieth 
not their sins. For they be the bondmen of the devil, 
and his slaves ; and therefore Christ's benefits pertain not 
unto them. It is a wonderful saying that St John hath, 
" Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the 
world." The devil saith unto me, " Thou art a sinner." 
" No," saith St John, " the Lamb of God hath taken away 
thy sins." Item, Habetites igitur Pontificem magnwn qui 



On the Lord's Prayer 275 

penetravit ccelos, Jesimi Filium Dei, accedanius cuui fidu- 
cia ad thronum gratice, ut consequamur misericordiam ; 
" We therefore having a great high Priest, which hath 
passed through the heavens, even Jesus the Son of God, 
let us with boldness go unto the seat of his grace, that 
we may obtain mercy." O, it is a comfortable thing that we 
have an access unto God ! Esay saith, In livore ejus sanati 
su??ms ; *' The pain of our punishment was laid upon him, and 
with his stripes are we healed." Further, in the new 
Testament we read, Huic omnes prophetce testimonium per- 
hident, remissio7iem peccatorum ampere per nomen ejus 
omnes qui credunt in eum ; " Unto the same bear all pro- 
phets witness, that all they do receive forgiveness of sins by 
his name, which believe on him." 

Now you see how ye be remedied from your sins ; you 
hear how you shall withstand the devil, when he will 
withdraw you from prayer. Let us therefore not give over 
prayer, but stick unto it. Let us rather believe Christ 
our Saviour than the devil, which was a liar from the begin- 
ning. You know now how you may prevent him, how you 
may put him off and avoid his temptations. 

There is one other addition afore we come to the peti- 
tions, which doth much confirm our faith and increase 
the same : Qui es in cxlis, "which art in heaven." These 
words put a diversity between the heavenly Father, and our 
temporal fathers. There be some temporal fathers which 
would fain help their children, but they cannot ; they be not 
able to help them. Again, there be some fathers which are 
rich, and might help their children, but they be so unnatural, 
they will not help them. But our heavenly Father, in that 
we call him, " Father," we learn that he will help, that 
he beareth a fatherly love towards us. 

" In heaven." Here we learn that he is able to help 
us, to give us all good things necessary to soul and body ; 
and is mighty to defend us from all ill and peril. So it ap- 
peareth that he is a Father which will help ; and that he 
being celestial, he is able to help us. Therefore we may 
have a boldness and confidence, that he may help us : and 
that he will help us, where and whensoever we call, he saith, 
Ccelum et terrain impleo, "I fill heaven and earth." And 
again, Coeluin mihi sedes est, et terra scabellum pedum meo- 
rum ; " Heaven is my seat, and the earth is my footstool." 
Where we see, that he is a mighty God ; that he is in heaven 



276 



The First Sermon 



and earth, with his power and might. In heaven he is 
apparently, where face to face he sheweth himself unto 
his angels and saints. In earth he is not so apparently, 
but darkly, and obscurely he exhibiteth himself unto us ; for 
our corrupt and feeble flesh could not bear his majesty. 
Yet he filleth the earth ; that is to say, he ruleth and govern- 
eth the same, ordering all things according unto his will and 
pleasure. Therefore we must learn to 'persuade ourselves, 
and undoubtedly believe, that he is able to help ; and that 
he beareth a good and fatherly will towards us ; that he will 
not forget us. Therefore the king and prophet David saith, 
Dominus de ccelo prospexit, " The Lord hath seen down 
from heaven." As far as the earth is from the heaven, 
yet God looketh down, he seeth all things, he is in every 
corner. He saith. The Lord hath looked down, not the saints. 
No, he saith not so ; for the saints have not so sharp eyes to 
see down from heaven : they be pur-.blind, and sand-blind, 
they cannot see so far ; nor have not so long ears to hear. 
And therefore our petition and prayer should be unto him, 
which will hear and can hear. For it is the Lord that 
looketh down. He is here in earth, as I told you, very 
darkly ; but he is in heaven most manifestly ; where he shew- 
eth himself unto his angels and saints face to face. We read 
in scripture, that Abel's blood did cry unto God. Where 
it appeareth that he can hear, yea, not only hear, but 
also see, and feel : for he seeth over all things, so that 
the least thought of our hearts is not hid from him. There- 
fore ponder and consider these words well, for they fortify 
our faith. We call him " Father," to put ourselves in remem- 
brance of his good-will towards us. " Heavenly " we call 
him, signifying his might and power, that he may help 
and do all things according to his will and pleasure. So 
it appeareth most manifestly, that there lacketh neither good- 
will nor power in him. There was once a prophet, which, 
when he was ill entreated of king Joash, said, Dominus 
videat et requirat ; "The Lord look upon it, and requite it." 
There be many men in England, and other where else, which 
care not for God, yea, they be clean without God ; which say 
in their hearts, Nubes latibuluni ejus, nee nostra considerat, 
et circa cardines call ambulat : "Tush, the clouds cover him 
that he may not see, and he dwelleth above in heaven." 
But, as I told you before, Abel's blood may certify of his 
present knowledge. Let us therefore take heed that we do 



On the Lord's Prayer 277 

nothing that might displease his majesty, neither openly 
nor secretly : for he is every where, and nothing can be 
hid from him. Videt et requiret, " He seeth, and will 
punish it." 

Further, this word " Father " is not only apt and con- 
venient for us to strengthen our faith withal, as I told you ; 
but also it moveth God the sooner to hear us, when we call 
him by that name, " Father." For he, perceiving our confi- 
dence in him, cannot choose but shew him like a Father. 
So that this word, "Father," is most meet to move God to 
pity and to grant our requests. Certain it is, and proved by 
holy scripture, that God hath a fatherly and loving affection 
towards us, far passing the love of bodily parents to their 
children. Yea, as far as heaven and earth is asunder, so far 
his love towards mankind exceedeth the love of natural 
parents to their children : which love is set out by the mouth 
of his holy prophet Esay, where he saith, JVum oblivioni 
tradet inulier infantem suum, quo minus misereatur filii 
uteri sui? Et si obliviscatur ilia, ego tamen tui non obli- 
viscar : "Can a wife forget the child of her womb, and 
the son whom she hath borne ? And though she do forget 
him, yet will I not forget thee." Here are shewed the affec- 
tions and unspeakable love which God beareth towards us. 
He saith, Nunquid potest inulier, " May a woman ? " He 
speaketh of the woman, meaning the man too ; but because 
women most commonly are more affected towards their chil- 
dren than men be, therefore he nameth the woman. And it 
is a very unnatural woman, that hateth her child, or neglect- 
eth the same. But, O Lord, what crafts and conveyances 
useth the devil abroad, that he can bring his matters so 
to pass, that some women set aside not only all motherly 
affections, but also all natural humanity, insomuch that they 
kill their own children, their own blood and flesh ! I was a 
late credibly informed of a priest, which had taken in hand to 
be a midwife. O what an abominable thing is this ! But 
what followed ? He ordered the matter so, that the poor inno- 
cent was lost in the mean season. Such things the devil can 
bring to pass ; but what then ? God saith, " Though a woman 
do forget her children, though they kill (hem, yet will I not 
forget thee, saith the Lord God Almighty." Truth it is, 
there be some women very unnatural and unkind, which shall 
receive their punishments of God for it ; but for all that we 
ought to beware and not to believe every tale told unto us, 



278 



The First Sermon 



and so rashly judge. I know what I mean. There hath been 
a late such tales spread abroad, and most untruly. Such false 
tale-tellers shall have a grievous punishment of the Lord, when 
he shall come to reward every one according unto his deserts. 
Here I have occasion to tell you a story which happened 
at Cambridge. Master Bilney, or rather Saint Bilney, that 
suffered death for God's word sake ; the same Bilney was 
the instrument whereby God called me to knowledge ; for 
I may thank him, next to God, for that knowledge that I 
have in the word of God. For I was as obstinate a papist 
as any was in England, insomuch that when I should be made 
bachelor of divinity, my whole oration went against Philip 
Melancthon and against his opinions. Bilney heard me at 
that time, and perceived that I was zealous without know- 
ledge : and he came to me afterward in my study, and de- 
sired me, for God's sake, to hear his confession. I did so ; 
and, to say the truth, by his confession I learned more than 
before in many years. So from that time forward I began 
to smell the word of God, and forsook the school-doctors and 
such fooleries. Now, after I had been acquainted with him, 
I went with him to visit the prisoners in the tower at 
Cambridge ; for he was ever visiting prisoners, and sick folk. 
So we went together, and exhorted them as well as we were 
able to do ; moving them to patience, and to acknowledge 
their faults. Among other prisoners, there was a woman 
which was accused that she had killed her own child, which 
act she plainly and stedfastly denied, and could not be 
brought to confess the act ; which denying gave us occasion 
to search for the matter, and so we did. And at the length 
we found that her husband loved her not ; and therefore he 
sought means to make her out of the way. The matter was 
thus : a child of hers had been sick by the space of a year, 
and so decayed as it were in a consumption. At the length 
it died in harvest-time. She went to her neighbours and 
other friends to desire their help, to prepare the child to the 
burial ; but there was nobody at home : every man was in 
the field. The woman, in an heaviness and trouble of spirit, 
went, and being herself alone, prepared the child to the burial. 
Her husband coming home, not having great love towards 
her, accused her of the murder ; and so she was taken and 
brought to Cambridge. But as far forth as I could learn 
through earnest inquisition, I thought in my conscience the 
woman was not guilty, all the circumstances well considered. 



L 



On the Lord's Prayer 279 

Immediately after this I was called to preach before the king, 
which was my first sermon that I made before his majesty, 
and it was done at Windsor ; where his majesty, after the 
sermon was done, did most familiarly talk with me in a gallery. 
Now, when I saw my time, I kneeled down before his majesty, 
opening the whole matter ; and afterwards most humbly 
desired his majesty to pardon that woman. For I thought in 
my conscience she was not guilty ; else I would not for all 
the world sue for a murderer. The king most graciously 
heard my humble request, insomuch that I had a pardon 
ready for her at my return homeward. In the mean season 
that same woman was delivered of a child in the tower at 
Cambridge, whose godfather I was, and Mistress Cheke was 
godmother. But all that time I hid my pardon, and told 
her nothing of it, only exhorting her to confess the truth, 
At the length the time came when she looked to suffer : I 
came, as I was wont to do, to instruct her ; she made great 
moan to me, and most earnestly required me that I would 
find the means that she might be purified before her 
suffering ; for she thought she should have been damned, if 
she should suffer without purification. Where Master Bilney 
and I told her, that that law was made unto the Jews, and not 
unto us ; and that women lying in child-bed be not unclean 
before God; neither is purification used to that end, that 
it should cleanse from sin ; but rather a civil and politic law, 
made for natural honesty sake ; signifying, that a woman 
before the time of her purification, that is to say, as long as 
she is a green woman, is not meet to do such acts as other 
women, nor to have company with her husband : for it is 
against natural honesty, and against the commonwealth. To 
that end purification is kept and used, not to make a super- 
stitution or holiness of it, as some do ; which think that they 
may not fetch neither fire nor any thing in that house where 
there is a green \Yoman ; which opinion is erroneous and 
wicked. For women, as I said afore, be as well in the 
favour of God before they be purified as after. So we 
travailed with this woman till we brought her to a good 
trade ; and at the length shewed her the king's pardon, and 
let her go. 

This tale I told you by this occasion, that though some 
women be very unnatural, and forget their children, yet when 
we hear any body so report, we should not be too hasty in 
believing the tale, but rather suspend our judgments till we 



28o The First Sermon 

•know the truth. And again, we shall mark hereby the great 
love and loving-kindness of God our loving Father, who 
•sheweth himself so loving unto us, that notwithstanding women 
forget sometimes their own natural children, yet he will not 
forget us ; he will hear us when we call upon him ; as he 
saith by the evangehst Matthew : " Ask, and it shall be given 
unto you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall be 
opened unto you," &c. Then he cometh and bringeth in a 
pretty similitude, saying : " Is there any man amongst you, 
•which, if his son ask bread, will offer him a stone? If ye 
then," cum sitis inali, " being evil, can give your children 
good gifts," &c. In these words, where he saith, cum sitis 
mali, " which be evil," he giveth us our own proper name ; 
he painteth us out, he pincheth us ; he cutteth off our combs ; 
he plucketh down our stomachs. And here we learn to 
acknowledge ourselves to be wicked, and to know him to be 
the well-spring and fountain of all goodness, and that all 
good things come of him. Therefore let every man think 
lowly of himself, humble himself and call upon God, which 
is ready to give us not only bread and drink, or other 
necessaries, but the Holy Ghost. To whom will he give the 
Holy Ghost ? To lords and ladies, to gentlemen or gentle- 
women ? No, not so. He is not ruled by affections : he 
hath not respect unto personages. Poscentibus, saith he, 
"unto those which call upon him," being ^rich or poor, lords 
or knights, beggars or rich ; he is ready to give unto them 
when they come to him. And this is a great comfort unto 
those which be poor and miserable in this world ; for they 
may be assured of the help of God, yea, and as boldly go 
unto him, and desire his help, as the greatest king in earth. 
But we must ask, we must inquire for it : he would have us 
to be importunate, to be earnest and diligent in desiring ; 
then we shall receive when we come with a good faith and 
confidence. To whom shall we call ? Not unto the saints. 
Poscentibus ilium, saith he. Those that call upon him shall 
be heard. Therefore we ought to come to him only, and not 
unto his saints. 

But one word is left, which we must needs consider ; 
Noster, "our." He saith not "my," but "our." Wherefore 
saith he " our ? " This word " our " teacheth us to consider 
that the Father of heaven is a common Father ; as well my 
neighbour's Father as mine ; as well the poor man's Father 
as the rich : so that he is not a peculiar Father, but a 



On the Lord's Prayer 281 

Father to the whole church and congregation, to all the 
faithful. Be they never so poor, so vile, so foul and despised, 
yet he is their Father as well as mine : and therefore I 
should not despise them, but consider that God is their 
Father as well as mine. Here may we perceive what com- 
munion is between us ; so that when I pray, I pray not for 
myself alone, but for all the rest : again, when they pray, 
they pray not for themselves only, but for me : for Christ 
hath so framed this prayer, that I must needs include my 
neighbour in it. Therefore all those which pray this prayer, 
they pray as well for me as for themselves ; which is a 
great comfort to every faithful heart, when he considereth 
that all the church prayeth for him For amongst such a 
great number there be some which be good, and whose 
prayer God will hear : as it appeared by Abraham's 
prayer, which prayer was so effectuous, that God would 
have pardoned Sodome and Gomorre, if he might have found 
but ten good persons therein. Likewise St Paul in ship- 
wreck preserved his company by his prayer. So that it is 
a great comfort unto us to know that all good and faithful 
persons pray for us. 

There be some learned men which gather out of scrip- 
ture, that the prayer of St Stephen was the occasion of the 
conversion of St Paul. St -Chrysostom saith, that that 
prayer that I make for myself is the best, and is of more 
efficacy than that which is made in common. Which saying 
I like not very well. For our Saviour was better learned 
than St Chrysostom. He taught us to pray in common for 
all ; therefore we ought to follow him, and to be glad to 
pray one for another : for we have a common saying among 
us, " Whosoever loveth me, loveth my hound." So, who- 
soever loveth God, will love his neighbour, which is made 
after the image of God. 

And here is to be noted, that prayer hath one property 
before all other good works : for with my alms I help but 
one or two at once, but with my faithful prayer I help all. 
I desire God to comfort all men living, but specially domes- 
ticos fidei, "those which be of the household of faith." 
Yet we ought to pray with all our hearts for the other, 
which believe not, that God will turn their hearts and renew 
them with his Spirit; yea, our prayers reach so far, that 
our very capital enemy ought not to be omitted. Here you 
see what an excellent thing prayer is, when it proceedeth 



282 The First Sermon 

from a faithful heart ; it doth far pass all the good works 
that men can do. 

Now to make an end : we are monished here of charity, 
and taught that God is not only a private Father, but a 
common Father unto the whole world, unto all faithful ; be 
they never so poor and miserable in this world, yet he is 
their Father. Where we may learn humility and lowliness : 
specially great and rich men shall learn here not to be lofty 
or to despise the poor. For when ye despise the poor 
miserable man, whom despise ye ? Ye despise him which 
calleth God his Father as well as you ; and peradventure 
more acceptable and more regarded in his sight than you 
be. Those proud persons may learn here to leave their 
stubbornness and loftiness. But there be a great many 
which little regard this : they think themselves better than 
other men be, and so despise and contemn the poor ; inso- 
much that they will not hear poor men's causes, nor defend 
them from wrong and oppression of the rich and mighty. 
Such proud men despise the Lord's prayer : they should be 
as careful for their brethren as for themselves. And such 
humility, such love and carefulness towards our neighbours, 
we learn by this word " Our." Therefore I desire you on 
God's behalf, let us cast away all disdainfulness, all proud- 
ness, yea, and all bibble-babble. Let us pray this prayer 
with understanding and great deliberation ; not following the 
trade of monkery, which was without all devotion and un- 
derstanding. There be but few which can say from the 
bottom of their hearts, " Our Father ; " a little number. 
Neither the Turks, neither the Jews, nor yet the impenitent 
sinners, can call God their Father. Therefore it is but vain 
babbling, whatsoever they pray : God heareth them not, he 
will not receive their prayers. The promise of hearing is 
made unto them only which be faithful and believe in God ; 
which endeavour themselves to live according unto his com- 
mandments. For scripture saith, Oculi Domitii super justos ; 
*' The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears 
open unto their prayers." But who are those righteous ? 
Every penitent sinner, that is sorry from the bottom of his 
heart for his wickedness, and believeth that God will forgive 
him his sins for his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ's sake. 
This is called in scripture " a just man," that endeavoureth 
himself to leave all wickedness. In such sort Peter and Paul 
were just, because they did repent, and believe in Christ, 



On the Lord's Prayer 283 

and so endeavoured themselves to live according unto God's 
laws. Therefore like as they were made just before God, 
so may we too ; for we have even the self-same promise. 
Let us therefore follow their ensample. Let us forsake 
all sins and wickedness ; then God will hear our prayers. 
For scripture saith, Domitius facit quicquid VQlunt timentes 
etwi, et clamo?-em eorum exaiidit ac servat eos : "The Lord 
fulfilleth the desire of them that fear him ; he also will hear 
their cry, and help them." In another place he saith, Si 
manseritis in sermone meo, et verba mea custodiveritis, 
quicquid volueritis pete7ites accipietis : " If ye abide in me, 
and my words abide in you, ask what ye will, and it shall 
be done for you." So we see that the promises pertain 
only to the faithful ; to those which endeavour themselves 
to live according to God's will and pleasure ; which can be 
content to leave their wickedness, and follow godliness : those 
God will hear at all times, whensoever they shall call upon 
him. 

Remember now what I have said : remember what is 
meant by this word "our;" namely, that it admonisheth us 
of love and charity ; it teacheth us to beware of stubborn- 
ness and proudness ; considering that God loveth as well the 
beggar as the rich man, for he regardeth no persons. Again, 
what is to be understood by this word " Father ; " namely, 
that he beareth a good will towards us, that he is ready and 
willing to help us. " Heavenly," that admonisheth us of his 
potency and ability, that he is ruler over all things. This, I 
say, remember, and follow it : then we shall receive all 
things necessary for this life ; and finally everlasting joy and 
felicity. Amen. Let us pray, " Our Father." 



SERMONS ON THE LORD'S PRAYER 

The Second Sermon upon the Lord's Prayer, made by Master 
Lathner. 

Sanctificetur nomen tuuni. — Matthew vi. 9. 
Hallowed be thy name. 

These few words contain the first petition of the Lord's 
prayer : the other words which go before this be no part of 
this petition, but rather an introduction unto these petitions : 
and they be hke a preface, or learned entrance to the mat- 
ter, that the petitions might be the sooner and with more 
favour heard. For our Saviour being a perfect schoolmaster, 
as a learned and an expert orator, teacheth us how we 
should begin our prayer that we might be speedily heard, 
and how to get favour at God's hand. 

I have a manner of teaching, which is very tedious to 
them that be learned. I am wont ever to repeat those 
things which I have said before, which repetitions are nothing 
pleasant to the learned : but it is no matter, I care not for 
them ; I seek more the profit of those which be ignorant, 
than to please learned men. Therefore I oftentimes repeat 
such things which be needful for them to know ; for I would 
speak so that they might be edified withal. 

I spake some things this day in the commendation of 
this prayer : and first I told you, that it was our Saviour's 
own making and handwork, which is a perfect schoolmaster, 
put in authority by God the heavenly Father himself, which 
saith. Hie est Filius mens dilectus, in quo mihi bene complacitum 
est ; ipsum audite : " This is my well-beloved Son, in whom 
I have pleasure ; hear him." 

This prayer is a perfect prayer, an abridgment and com- 
pendious sum of all other prayers. There is nothing that 
we have need of, neither to our souls or bocijes, but it is 
contained in some of these petitions ; nor nothing that God 

284 



Second Sermon on the Lord's Prayer 285 

promiseth in his word to give us, but it is expressed in one 
of these seven petitions. 

I shewed you this day why we call God " Father ; " 
namely, because he beareth a loving and fatherly heart 
towards us. It is a sweet word, " Father ; " and a word that 
pleaseth God much when it is spoken with a faithful heart, 
which above all things God requireth. This word " Father" 
moveth God's affection, in a manner, towards us, so that 
he, hearing the word " Father," cannot choose but shew 
himself a Father indeed. So that it is a word profitable 
to us in God's behalf, and, again, for our ownselves : for it 
moveth God to pity, and also helpeth our faith ; so that we 
doubt not, but that we shall find him a Father, which will 
grant our requests and petitions made unto him in the name 
of Christ. Now what crafts and conveyances the devil useth 
to withdraw and let us from prayer, I told you to-day 
aforenoon. If you exercise prayers, you shall find the temp- 
tations of the devil, for he sleepeth not : he ever intendeth 
to withdraw us from prayer. But I told you what remedy 
you shall use against him ; how you shall strive against him, 
namely, with faith ; believing that our Saviour hath taken 
away our sins, so that they cannot hurt us. For they be no 
sins in the sight of God ; for he hath taken away both the 
guiltiness of sins, and the pains and punishments which follow 
sins. Christ bath deserved that those which believe in him 
shall be quit from all their sins. These benefits of Christ are 
set out in scripture, in many places ; and these be the weapons 
wherewith we must fight against the devil and his illusions ; — 
not with holy water : for I tell you, the devil is not afraid of 
holy water. It is Christ that hath gotten the victory over him ; 
it is he that vanquisheth the serpent's head, and not holy water. 
Further, in that we call him *' Father," his will and 
fatherly affections are expressed : that we call him " heavenly 
Father," his might and power, his omnipotency, is expounded 
unto us. So that you perceive that he is both loving 
and kind towards us ; that he beareth a good-will, and 
also is able to help, able to defend us from all our enemies, 
spiritual and temporal. Therefore let us put our trust 
and confidence in him : let us not despair of his help, 
seeing he is so loving, kind, and gentle towards us; and 
then so mighty, that he hath all things in his hands. This 
affection and love towards us passeth all motherly affections. 
And here I brought in to-day a woman which was 



286 The Second Sermon 

accused that she should have killed her child, I told you 
what business good Master Bilney^and I had with her, afore 
we could bring her to a good trade. For she thought her- 
self to be damned, if she should suffer before her purification. 
There I told you, that purification is continued in the church 
of God for natural honesty's sake, that man and wife should 
not company together afore that time ; and not to that end, 
that it should cleanse from sin ; for there is nothing that 
cleanseth from sin, neither in heaven nor in earth, saving 
only the blood of our Saviour Jesu Christ. For how can 
a woman having company with her husband, and bringing 
forth children according unto God's injunction, how can she 
be made an heathen woman, doing nothing but that God 
hath commanded her to do ? Therefore against such foolish 
opinions that women have, thinking themselves out of the 
favour of God, lying in child-bed, I spake to-day, and told 
you how that is no offence afore God ; only let every man 
and wife take heed and use themselves honestly : for a man 
may sin deadly with his own wife, if he, contrary to God's 
order, misuse her. 

Further, you have heard how the good-will of God 
towards us is set out by this word " Father," and his power 
and omnipotency by this word " heavenly : " but I would 
have you to consider well this word " our ; " for it is a 
great help unto us, and strengtheneth much our faith, so 
that we may be assured that every good man in the whole 
world will pray for us and with us, whilst we have one 
Father and one manner of prayer. And this word " our " 
putteth us in remembrance that we be brethren in Christ : 
where we be admonished to despise no man, be he never so 
miserable or poor ; for we have all one Father, which hath 
made us all of one metal of earth. So that the highest 
prince in the world is made as well of earth as the poorest ; 
and so shall turn into the same again, as well as the poorest 
shepherd. Let these proud persons mark this well, which 
be ever ready to despise every man. Such proud persons 
say never the Lord's prayer with good mind : yea, God 
is not their Father, for he abhorreth all proudness. There- 
fore such stubborn fellows when they will pray, they should 
not say, " Our Father which art in heaven ; " but rather, 
" Our Father which art in hell." God is their father, as 
concerning their substance, for he giveth them souls and 
bodies ; but they make themselves the members of the devil, 



On the Lord's Prayer 287 

contrary unto God's will and pleasure. Therefore set aside 
all arrogancy and proudness ; likewise all superstitious and 
hypocritical babbling, speaking many words to little purpose : 
as I heard say of some lawyers, which babble and prate, 
and pretend a great diligence and earnest desire to defend 
the poor man's cause ; but in their hearts they be false, they 
seek money and nothing else ; so that their hearts and 
mouth disagree. Let us, I say, not follow such lawyers ; 
let us not make a shew of holiness with much babbling, for 
God hath no pleasure in it ; therefore away with it : yea, 
not alone with this, but with all that may let us in our 
prayer. Set it aside, and come reverently to talk with God. 
Like as when you go to the communion, you must be pre- 
pared unto it, you must be in charity with your neighbour ; 
so likewise, when you will talk with God, and pray to him, 
you must be prepared. 

Here you may perceive, that all those persons that will 
not be corrected for their faults, that cannot bear godly ad- 
monitions, they talk never with God to his pleasure ; they 
be not ruled by God's Spirit, and so not meet for him. All 
rebellious persons, all blood-thirsty persons, all covetous per- 
sons, all lecherous persons, all liars, drunkards, and such like, 
be not in the case to talk with God. God will not hear 
them ; he cannot abide them ; they stink before his face, as 
long as they come before him with such abominable sins, not 
intending to leave them. Remember now what a doctrine it 
contained in this preface. Weigh it ; for it is better to say is 
sententiously one time, than to run it over an hundred times 
with humbling and mumbling. 

Now, when we have begun as we ought to do, what shall 
we desire ? Sanctificetur ?iomen tuutn, " Hallowed be thy 
name." Thy name, " Father," be hallowed, be sanctified, be 
magnified. What is this ? What meant our Saviour, when 
he commandeth us that we shall desire that God's name be 
hallowed ? There is a great number of people which speak 
these words with their mouth, but not with their hearts, con- 
trary to that saying, Quicquid petinius ardenter petamus^ 
tanquam cupienies habere. But they say it without know- 
ledge ; therefore they say it not, ut oportet, as they ought 
to do. "Thy name : " we require not that his name may be 
hallowed in him ; for this is already done without our prayer : 
but we desire that he will give us grace, and assist us, that 
we in all our doings throughout our life may sanctify his 



288 The Second Sermon 

name. And here we are admonished again of love and charity : 
for when we say, " Hallowed be thy name," we ask in all 
men's names. Where we may perceive what communion and 
fellowship is between the faithful flock of God ; for every 
faithful man and woman requireth that the whole church may 
hallow and sanctify God's word. 

What is it to be " hallowed ? " We desire that the name 
of God may be revealed, opened, manifested, and credited 
throughout all the world. What is God's " name ? " Marry, all 
that is spoken of him in holy scripture, that is his name. 
He is called Clemens^ "Gracious;" Misertcors, "Merciful;" 
Justus, " Righteous ; " Puniens iniquitatetn, " A punisher of 
wickedness ; " Verax, " True ; " Omnipotens, " Almighty ; " 
Longani?nis, " Long-suffering, patient ; " Fortis, " Hardy ; " 
Ignis consumens, " A consuming fire , " Rex omnis terrcB, 
"the King over the whole earth;" Judex, "A Judge;" 
Salvator, " A Saviour." These and such like are the names 
of God. Now when I make my petition unto him, saying, 
" Hallowed be thy name ; " I desire that his name may be 
revealed, that we may know what scripture speaketh of him, 
and so believe that same, and live after it. I do not desire 
that his name be hallowed of himself, for it needeth not ; he 
is holy already : but I desire that he will give us his Spirit, 
that we may express him in all our doings and conversations ; 
so that it may appear by our deeds, that God is even such 
one indeed as scripture doth report him. We are tried many 
times whether his name be hallowed amongst us or no. He 
sendeth us trouble and adversities to prove us, whether we 
will hallow his name or no. But he findeth us clean contrary. 
For some of us, when we be in trouble, do run hither and 
thither to sorcerers and witches, to get remedy. Some, again, 
swear and curse ; but such fellows hallow not the name of 
God. But God is vindex severus, "a sharp punisher:" 
he will punish sin, and those which blaspheme his holy name. 

I heard of late that there be some wicked persons, de- 
spisers of God and his benefits, which say, " It is no matter 
whatsoever we do ; we be baptized : we cannot be damned ; 
for all those that be baptized, and be called Christians, shall 
be saved." This is a false and wicked opinion ; and I assure 
you that such which bear the name of Christians, and be 
baptized, but follow not God's commandments, that such 
fellows, I say, be worse than the Turks and heathen : for the 
Turks and heathen have made no promise unto Christ to 



On the Lord's Prayer 289 

serve him. These fellows have made promise in baptism 
to keep Christ's rule, which thing they do not ; and there- 
fore they be worse than the Turks : for they break th.eir 
promise made before God and the whole congregation. And 
therefore such Christians be most wicked, perjured persons ; 
and not only be perjured, but they go about to make God 
a liar, so much as lieth in them. There be some again, 
which when they be in trouble they call upon God, but he 
cometh not by and by, minding to prove their patience ; they, 
perceiving he cometh not at the first call, give over by and 
by, they will no more call upon him. Do they believe now, 
think ye ? Do they sanctify God's holy name ? God pro- 
miseth in his holy word, Omnis qui petit, "Every one that 
calleth or that desireth help of me shall have it." Item, 
Tnvoca me in die tribulationis, et exaudiam te, et glori- 
ficabis me ; " Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will 
hear thee, and thou shalt praise me." Likewise St Paul 
saith, Fidelis est Deus, qui 7ion patietur vos tentari supra 
id quod potestis ; " God is faithful, which will not suffer you 
to be tempted above it that ye be able." Now, when we 
give over prayer being in trouble, do we sanctify the name 
of God ? No, no ; we slander and blaspheme his holy name : 
we make him a liar, as much as lieth in us. For he saith, 
Eripiam te, "I will deliver thee, I will help thee : " we will 
call no more ; for we say, he will not help. So we make 
him and his word a liar. Therefore God saith to Moses and 
Aaron,- Quandoquide7?i non credidistis mi hi, ut sanctifi- 
caretis me coram filiis Israel, non introducetis ccetum istum 
in terrain quam dedi eis ; "Because ye believed me not, to 
sanctify me in the sight of the children of Irsael, therefore 
you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I 
have given them." Where it appeareth, what it is to hallow 
God's name ; that is, to believe his words, to shew ourselves 
that he is true in his doings and sayings. He saith further, 
A terrore ejus ne formidetis, neque ani/no fraiigainiiii, quin 
potius Dominum exercituum ipsum sanctificate ; " Fear them 
not, neither be afraid of them, but sanctify the Lord of 
hosts." Here you see what it is to sanctify his name ; that 
is, to believe that all things be true that be spoken of him ; 
that is, to believe that our enemies be not able to go further 
than it pleaseth God. And so did the apostles, when they 
suffered for God's sake : they believed that God would do 
with them according to his word and promise ; and so they 



290 The Second Sermon 

sanctified God ; that is, they declared with their acts and 
deeds, that God is a true and faithful God. This did the 
martyrs of God ; this did the three young men which would 
not worship the idol set up by the king, and therefore were 
cast into the burning oven, to which pain they were willing 
to go. " We know," said they, " that God is able to help 
and defend us, when it pleaseth him." So must we likewise 
offer ourselves unto the cross, content to suffer whatsoever he 
shall lay upon us. We may call upon him, and desire his 
help ; but we may not appoint unto him the manner and 
way, how he shall help, and by what means. Neither may 
we appoint him any time, but only sanctify his name ; that is, 
to call upon him for deliverance, not doubting but when it is 
to his honour and our profit to be delivered, that he will help. 
But if he help not, but let us suffer death, happy are we ; 
for then we be delivered from all trouble. And so these 
three young men sanctified the name of God ; they believed 
that God was a helper : and so, according to their belief he 
helped them, marvellously shewing his power, and defending 
them from the power of the fire. 

In such wise did Achior, that good man, when Holo- 
phernes, that sturdy captain, made great brags what he 
would do, and how he would handle the Jews. This Achior, 
knowing God, and believing him to be ruler over heaven and 
earth, stepped forward, and said to Holophernes : " If this 
people have done wickedness in the sight of their God, then 
let us go up against them ; but if this people have not dis- 
pleased their God, we shall not be able to withstand them ; 
for God shall defend them." Here this Achior shewed him- 
self to believe that which was spoken of God in scripture ; 
namely, that God would be a deliverer and defender of those 
which believe in him. But for all that he suffereth : being 
before a great and mighty captain, he was now handled like 
a wild beast. But what then ? Happy are those that suffer 
for God's sake. The prophet saith, Comjne?tda Domino 
viain tuam, et ipse faciei ; " Commit thy way unto the Lord, 
and he shall brmg it to pass : " that is to say. When thou art 
in trouble, call upon the Lord, believe in him ; and if it be 
good for thee, he will deliver thee. So to sanctify God's 
name is to believe in him. 

Lady Judith, that good, godly, and holy woman, sancti- 
fied the name of the Lord. For she and her people being 
in great distress and misery, she put her hope in God. She 



On the Lord's Prayer 291 

fasted and prayed devoutly, and afterward, being moved or 
monished by a secret admonition, was not afraid to put herself 
in great danger ; insomuch that she took in hand, being a 
woman, to kill the great captain of whom all men were afraid, 
Holophernes. I say, she was not afraid of him. I trow, 
she rebuked the priest, which would appoint God a time ; as 
who say, " He shall be no more my God, except he come by 
that time : " which was very wickedly done of them. For we 
ought to be at his pleasure : whensoever and whatsoever he 
will do with us, we ought to be content withal. If we were 
earnest and zealous as we should be, O how hot we should be 
in promoting God's honour and sanctifying his name ! We 
would nor could not suffer that any body should go about to 
dishonest the holy name of God. But we be very cold, we 
care not for his honour. We ought to. be patient in our own 
quarrels ; when any body doth us wrong, we ought to bear 
and forbear it : but in God's behalf we ought to be hot and 
earnest to defend his honour, as much as lieth in us to do. 
But it is clean contrary with us : for in our own quarrel we 
be as hot as coals ; but in God's cause, for his honour, we 
care not, we regard it as nothing, whereas it ought most above 
all to be regarded : for God he is just, righteous, faithful, and 
kind ; and therefore we ought to take his part. But nothing 
maketh more for the sanctifying of God's holy name, than to 
be thankful for such gifts as we receive at his hands. 

And this hallowing standeth in all things that may make 
for the furtherance of God's honour. To hear God's word, 
and highly to esteem the same, that is a hallowing of God's 
name. How hallow now they the name of God, which refuse 
to hear the word of God, or for lack of preachers cannot hear 
it? And how can they believe, when they hear it not? 
Therefore they that do somewhat for the furtherance of 
learning, for maintaining of schools and scholars, they 
sanctify God's holy name. As for those preachers which 
have been in my time, they go away. How shall now this 
office of preaching, the office of salvation, how shall it be 
maintained, except there be made some provision for the 
same ? Here I could say much against those which let that 
office, which withdraw the goods wherewith schools should be 
maintained, and take it to themselves ; but my audience is 
not thereafter. This office of preaching is the office of salva- 
tion ; for St Paul saith. Visum est Deo per stultitiam prcedi- 
cationis salvos facere credentes : "It hath pleased God to 



292 The Second Sermon 

save the believers by the foolishness of preaching." How 
can nmen then believe, but by and through the office of preach- 
ing ? Preachers are Christ's vicars : legatione fungutitur pro 
Deo. "They are Christ's ambassadors." St Paul saith, 
Evangelium est potentia Dei ad salutem omni credenti ; 
" The gospel is the power of God unto salvation for every 
believer." It is the mighty instrument of God. 

When we say, "Hallowed be thy name;" we desire God 
that he, through his goodness, will remove and put away all 
things that may let and stop the honour of his name. But I 
fear me there be many which would not that it should be so. 
We desire here that God will remove all infidelity. We 
require that all witchcrafts be removed ; that art, magic, and 
sorcery, be pulled out, necromancy taken away ; and so 
nothing left but his holy word, wherewith we may daily 
praise the name of God. For I fear me there be a great 
many in England which use such sorceries, to the dishonour 
of God and their own damnation. We require here further, 
that all heresy, all popery may be abolished and extinguished. 
Further we require here, that all wicked living may be 
amended and reformed. Next, we require that all magistrates 
may do their duties. Finally, we require that every man 
in his vocation may do the work whereunto God hath called 
him. There be many vocations. The magistrates' vocation 
is to see that the commonwealth be well ordered ; to see that 
the schools be maintained ; to see that universities be well 
furnished ; to see that justice be executed ; that the wicked 
be punished, and the good rewarded ; finally, to keep every 
one in good order. This is their duty. Further, we pray 
that the priests, the spirituality, or the churchmen, as they 
call them, do their duties : to preach God's word, to live 
godly, and to give a good ensample by their conversation ; 
else they do against the honour of God, and their own ho- 
nesty. Likewise, we pray that servants may do their duties : 
for to be a servant is an honest estate, and much commended 
rn scripture ; and scripture speaketh much to the comfort of 
them. And truly, those that live in the fear of God, consi- 
dering that they serve not only their carnal masters, but God 
himself, they be in a good case : but they may not be eye- 
servants. St Paul noteth this fault, and saith, that they shall 
not be murmurers, nor froward answerers. St Paul would 
have them to live so, that they may ornate and sanctify the 
name of God. For that servant that doth the thing where- 



On the Lord's Prayer 293 

unto he is called, he doth adorn his estate. That servant is 
a good gospeller, that will not be an eye-servant. There be 
some servants, which do their duties as long as their master 
is in sight ; but as soon as their master is gone, they play 
the lubbers. Unto such fellows I say, " Beware." For 
though your bodily master see you not, yet your great 
Master, God, seeth you, and will punish you. Quod agis, 
toto pectore agito ; "What thou doest, do it from the bottom 
of thy heart," with a good will. Go not away with the 
devil's Paternoster, as some do. Do all things with a good 
mind. For I tell you, you be not forgotten in scripture ; 
you are much commended in the same. St Paul speaketh 
very honourably of you, saying. Domino Christo servitis ; 
" You serve the Lord Christ." It becometh not you to put 
a difference what business you be commanded to do. For 
whatsoever it be, do it with a good will, and it is God's 
service. Therefore you ought to do it, in respect that God 
would have you to do so : for I am no more assured in my 
preaching that I serve God, than the servant is in doing such 
business as he is commanded to do ; scouring the candlesticks, 
or whatsoever it be. Therefore, for God's sake, consider the 
matter. Some of you think, if Christ were here, you would 
go with him and serve him. I tell you, when you follow 
your service, and do such things as your master and mistress 
shall command you, you serve him as well as if he were here 
bodily. He is not here bodily now, but his word is here. 
Domino Christo servitis, saith St Paul : " You serve the Lord 
Christ." Therefore I desire you in God's behalf to walk 
uprightly and godly. Consider what God saith unto you : 
Maledictus qui facit opus Domini negligenter ; "Cursed be 
he that doth the work of the Lord negligently." Tliis 
scripture pertaineth to you as well as to me. For when 
you do your business negligently, you be cursed before the 
face of God. Therefore consider the goodness of God, 
that he would have you as well saved as your masters. 
Surely, methinketh it is a great benefit of God, to be a 
servant. For those that keep houses must make account 
afore God for their family; they must watch and see that 
all things be well. But if a servant can discern what 
standeth with God's commandment, and what is against it, 
it is enough for him. But he must know that he ought 
not to obey his master or mistress when they would command 
him to do against God ; in such a case he may refuse and 



294 The Second Sermon 

withstand them. For it is written, "We must more obey 
unto God, than man : " we should not do against God, to 
please our masters. Again, masters and mistresses are bound 
to consider their duties ; to pay unto their servants their 
wages, and meat and drink convenient. For it is a great sin 
to defraud the labourer of his wages ; for it is written, " The 
cry of the labourers shall come before the Lord." It is a 
great fault afore God to defraud them. But there be some 
servants which be so wicked, that they will complain without 
a cause, when they cannot have that that they would have, 
nor bear all the rule themselves. But I say, it is a great 
thing for a master to defraud his servant. And, again, the 
servant which hath his whole wages, and doth but half his 
work, or is a sluggard, that same fellow, I say, is a thief 
afore God. For like as the master ought to pay the whole 
wages, so Hkewise the servant ought to do his whole work. 

Here I might have occasion to shew how man and wife 
ought to live together ; how they ought to be faithful, loving, 
and friendly one to the other ; how the man ought not to 
despise the wife, considering that she is partaker with him of 
everlasting life. Therefore the man ought cohabitare, " to 
dwell with her ; " which is a great thing. Again, see how 
the woman ought to behave herself towards her husband ; 
how faithful she ought to be. Now when they both yield 
their duties the one to the other, then they sanctify the name 
of God ; but when they do contrary to their calling then they 
slander the holy name of God. Therefore let every man and 
woman walk in their vocations. 

We must have a good and earnest mind and will to sanc- 
tify the name of Qod : for that person that prayeth, and 
desireth of God that his name may be hallowed, and yet hath 
no will nor pleasure to do it indeed, this is not the right 
sanctifying of the name of God. St Peter teacheth us how 
we shall sanctify God's name, saying, Co7Wersationem inter 
gentes habentes bonam ; " Have a good and holy conversation, 
live uprightly in your calling ; so that your light may so 
shine before men, that they may see your good works, and 
so glorify God." 

I will trouble you no longer. It is better a little well 
perceived and borne away, than a great deal heard and left 
behind. Consider wherefore our Saviour commandeth us to 
call God " Our Father ; " then afterward weigh this, " which 
art in heaven." Then come to the petition, "Hallowed be 



On the Lord's Prayer 295 

thy name ;" weigh and consider this. For now is the time 
wherein the name of God should be hallowed : for it is a 
pitiful thing to see what rule and dominion the devil beareth, 
how shameless men be ; how the name of God is brought in 
derision. Therefore let us say from the bottom of our heart, 
satictificetur, " hallowed : " that is to say, " Lord God, through 
thy goodness remove all wickedness; give us grace to live 
uprightly!" And so consider every 'word; for it is better 
one word spoken with good affection, than an hundred without 
it. Yet I do not say this to let you from saying the whole 
Paternoster ; but I say, one word well said is better than a 
great many else. Read throughout all the scripture, and ye 
shall find that all faithful men have made but short prayers : 
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Hezekiah. Our Saviour him- 
self in the garden saith, Pater, si possibile est, transeat a me 
calix iste ; " Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from 
me." This was but a short prayer. Again he saith. Pater, 
ignosce illis, quia nesciunt quid faciunt : "Father, forgive 
them, because they know not what they do." The publican 
praying in the temple made but a short prayer, saying, 
Propitius esto inihi peccatori ; "Lord, be merciful unto me a 
sinner." So the thief hanging upon the cross saith, Dojnine, 
memento mei cum vef2eris in regnum tuum ; " Lord, remember 
me when thou comest in thy kingdom." Here was not much 
babbling. But I speak not this to dissuade you from long 
prayer, when the spirit and the affections do serve ; for our 
Saviour himself spent a whole night in prayer. 

Sanctificetur, " Hallowed be thy name : " that is to say, 
" Lord, remove away thy dishonour; remove away sin ; move 
them that be in authority to do their duties ; move the man 
and wife to live rightly ; move servants to do well." And so 
it should be a great grief unto us, when we should see any 
body dishonour the name of God, insomuch that we should 
cry out, " Our Father, hallowed be thy name." This one 
thing bear away with you above all others : consider that 
when we will come to God and talk with him, we must be 
penitent sinners, we must abhor sins, purpose to leave them, 
and to live uprightly ; which grant us God the Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost ! Ainen. 



SERMONS ON THE LORD'S PRAYER 

The Third Sermon upon the Lord's Prayer 

Advemat regnum tuum. — Matt. vi. lo. 
Thy kingdom come. 

This is the second petition of the Lord's prayer. I trust 
you have not forgotten the two lessons before rehearsed unto 
you. First, the beginning of the Lord's prayer, what a 
treasure of doctrine is contained in every word : " Our," 
what it signifieth ; " Father," what it meaneth : and then, 
this addition, " which art in heaven : " how many things is 
to be noted by every one of those words. And I trust also, 
you have remembered the contents of, the first petition, 
Satictificetur tiomen tuum, " Hallowed be thy name." Here 
I told you wherein standeth the holiness of his name, and what 
it meaneth ; namely, we require that his name may be 
sanctified in us, that is to say, we require that all our con- 
versations may be to the honour of God, which followeth 
when we endeavour ourselves to do his pleasure ; when we 
hear his word with great diligence and earnest reverence, and 
so walk in the works of our vocation, every man whereunto 
God hath appointed him. And because the word of God is 
the instrument and fountain of all good things, we pray to 
God for the continuance of his word ; that he will send godly 
and well learned men amongst us, which may be able to 
declare us his will and pleasure ; so that we may glorify him 
in the hour of our visitation, when God shall visit us, and 
reward every one according unto his desert. One thing we 
must well consider and not forget it, namely, that our Saviour 
teacheth us to pray and desire of God that his name may be 
hallowed. Where he painteth us in our own colour, and 
would have us to confess our own imperfections ; that we be 
not able to do any thing according to God's will, except we 
receive it first at his hands. Therefore he teacheth us to pray, 
that God will make us able to do all things according to his 
will and pleasure. 

Adveniat regnum tuum. This is our request, "Thy 

296 



Third Sermon on the Lord's Prayer 297 

kingdom come. Thou Father, we beseech thee, let thy 
kingdom come to us." Here we pray that the kingdom of 
God come not to one only, but to us all. So that when I say 
this prayer, I require God that he will let his kingdom come 
to you as well as to me. Again, when you pray, you pray 
as well for me as for your own selves. " Let thy kingdom 
come." You must understand that, to speak properly, these 
words are not to be understood of God's inferior kingdom, 
of his earthly kingdom, as though it did hang upon our peti- 
tions, so that he could not be Lord and ruler over the earth 
except we pray for him. No : we pray not for his inferior 
kingdom to come, for it is come already : he ruleth and 
governeth all things. He is called in scripture Rex regum, 
"The King above all kings," Domi?ius dominanttu7n, "the 
Lord above all lords." Therefore he ruleth and governeth 
all things according to his will and pleasure, as scripture saith, 
Voluntati ejus quis resistet, " Who will withstand his will ? " 
So our Saviour reporteth, saying, Pater mens operatur 
tisque modo, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work 
also : " What worketh he ? He worketh the works of govern- 
ance. For at the first beginning he did create all things : 
but he left them not so : he assisteth them, he ruleth them, 
according to his will. Therefore our Saviour doth not teach 
us to pray for his worldly kingdom to come ; for he ruleth 
already as Lord and King ; yea, and all the kings and rulers 
rule by him, by his permission, as scripture witnesseth ; 
Per me reges regtiant, " Through me," that is, " by my per- 
mission, kings reign." I would wish of God that all kings and 
potentates in the world would consider this well, and so 
endeavour themselves to use their power to the honour and 
glory of God, and not to presume in their strength. For 
this is a good monition for them, when God saith. Per me 
reges regna?it, " Through me kings do reign : " yea, they be 
so under God's rule, that they can think nothing nor do any 
thing without God's permission. For it is written, Cor regis 
in manu Domini, et quo vult vertit illud ; " The heart of the 
king is in the hand of the Lord, and he turneth the same 
whithersoever it pleaseth him." This is good to be con- 
sidered ; and specially subjects should mark this text well. 
When the rulers be hard, and oppress the people, think ever, 
Cor regis itt manu Domini, " The king's heart is in the 
governance of God." Yea, when thou art led to prison, 
consider that the governor's heart is in the hand of the Lord. 



298 



The Third Sermon 



Therefore yield obedience : make thy moan unto God, and 
he will help, and can help. Surely I think there be no place 
in scripture more pleasant than this, " The heart of the king 
is in the hand of God ; " for it maketh us sure, that no 
man can hurt us without the permission of God, our heavenly 
Father. For all those great rulers, that have been from the 
beginning of the world till now, have been set up by the 
appointment of God; and he pulled them down when it 
pleased him. There have been principally four monarchies 
in the world : the first were the Babylonians, which had 
great and many nations underneath them : which was God's 
ordinance and pleasure, for he suffered them so to do. After 
those came the Persians, which were great rulers and mighty 
kings ; as it appeareth by stories written of learned men at 
that time. Then came in the Greeks, and took the dominion 
from the Persians, and ruled themselves for awhile, till they 
were plucked down. At the last came the Romans, with 
their empire, which shall be the last : and therefore it is 
a token that the end of the world is not far off. But where- 
fore were those mighty potentates plucked down ? Marry, for 
wickedness' sake. The Babylonians, Persians, and Grecians, 
and a good part of the Romans were cast down for wicked- 
ness' sake. What were their doings ? They would not execute 
justice : the magistrates were wicked, lofty, and high-minded : 
the subjects, taking ensample of their magistrates, were wicked 
too, and so worthy to be punished together. Therefore the 
wisdom of God saith, Vidi sub sole in loco judicii impietatem 
et in loco justitics iniquitatem : "In the place where poor 
men ought to be heard, there have I seen impiety ; I have 
seen oppression and extortion ; this I have seen : yea, and 
in the place of justice, there I have seen bearing and bolster- 
ing." So for these causes' sake, these great emperors were 
destroyed : so shall we, if we follow their wicked ensamples. 
Esay, that hearty prophet, confirmeth the same, saying, 
Exspectavi ut facet'ent judicium, et ecce iniquitas ; exspectavi 
ut facerent justitiam et ecce clamor: "I looked they should 
execute justice, defend the good, and punish the ill; but 
there was nothing but crying." This is a great matter ; 
clamor populi, " the cry of the people." When subjects be 
oppressed, so that they cry unto God for deliverance, truly 
God will hear them ; he will help and deliver them. But 
it is to be pitied that the devil beareth so much rule, and so 
much prevaileth both in magistrates and subjects, insomuch 



On the Lord's Prayer 299 

that he beareth almost all the rule. Not that he ought to do 
so ; for God he is the lawful ruler of the world ; unto him we 
owe obedience :'■ but the devil is an usurper ; he cometh to his 
dominion by craft and subtilty, and so maketh himself the 
great ruler over the world. Now he, being the great ruler, 
would have all the other rulers to go after him, and follow 
his ensample, which commonly happeneth so. For you know 
there is a common saying, Similis simili gatidet, " Like to 
like." Therefore he useth all homely tricks to make all 
rulers to go after him : yea, he intendeth to inveigle even 
very kings, and to make them negligent in their business and 
office. Therefore such kings and potentates were pulled 
down, because they followed the instructions of the devil. 

But our Saviour speaketh not of such worldly kingdoms, 
when he teacheth us to say, "Thy kingdom come." For 
these worldly kingdoms bring us not to perfect felicity ; they 
be full of all manner of calamities and miseries, death, per- 
ditions, and destructions. Therefore the kingdom that he 
speaketh of is a spiritual kingdom ; a kingdom where God 
only beareth the rule, and not the devil. This kingdom is 
spoken of every where in scripture, and was revealed long 
ago ; and daily God hath his preachers, which bring us to 
knowledge of this kingdom. Now we pray here, that that 
kingdom of God may be increased, for it is God's fellowship; 
they are God's subjects that dwell in that kingdom ; which 
kingdom doth consist in righteousness and justice ; and it 
delivereth from all calamities, and miseries, from death and 
all peril. And in this petition we pray that God will send 
unto us his Spirit, which is the leader unto this kingdom ; 
and all those which lack this Spirit shall never come to God. 
For St Paul saith, Qui Spiritum Christi non habet, non 
est ejus ; " Whosoever hath not the Spirit of Christ, he per- 
taineth not unto him." Likewise our Saviour saith, Regnum 
Dei ititra vos est; "The kingdom of God is within you:" 
signifying, that those which have the Spirit of God shall be 
sure of that kingdom : yea, it beginneth here in this world 
with them that be faithful. 

The instrument wherewith we be called to this kingdom, 
is the office of preaching. God calleth us daily by preachers 
to come to this kingdom ; to forsake the kingdom of the 
devil ; to leave all wickedness. For customable sinners, those 
that be not content to leave sin, they pertain not to that 
kingdom ; they are under the dominion of the devil ; he ruleth 



300 The Third Sermon 

them : like as our Saviour saith to the Jews, Vos ex patrt 
diabolo estis ; "The devil is your father." Item, Qui fad t 
peccatum ex diabolo est ; "He that doth sin is of the devil." 
Therefore by this petition we pray, that we may be delivered 
from all sin and wickedness, from the devil and his power. 
We desire God, that we may be his subjects ; which is a very 
godly and needful prayer. 

Further, by this petition we be put in remembrance what 
we be, namely, captives of the devil, his prisoners, and bond- 
men ; and not able to come at liberty through our own power. 
Therefore we desire God's help and aid, as Christ hath taught 
us to call him Father. He knew his affections ; therefore he 
commandeth us to call him Father, and to desire his help to 
be delivered out of the kingdom of the devil. Happy are 
those which are in this kingdom, for they shall lack nothing ! 
And this kingdom cometh to us by preaching, by hearing of 
God's word. Therefore those that find scholars to school, 
they are helpers and furtherers toward this kingdom ; and 
truly it is needful that there be made some provision for 
them. For except schools and universities be maintained, 
we shall have no preachers : when we have no preachers, 
when we have none which shew unto us God's word, how 
shall we come to that blessed kingdom which we desire ? 
What availeth it when you have gotten many hundred pounds 
for your children, and lack God's word ? Therefore I say, 
this office must needs be maintained : for it is a necessary 
office, which furthereth to this kingdom ; of which our Sa- 
viour speaketh in the gospel to the Jews, saying, I?istat 
regnum coelorum ; "The kingdom of God is come near." 
Likewise he saith to one, Sequere me, et annuncia verbum 
Dei ; " Follow me, and preach the kingdom of God." So 
ought all preachers to do : they ought to allure every man 
to come to this kingdom, that this kingdom may be re- 
plenished. For the more that be converted, the more is the 
kingdom of God. Again, those that be wicked livers, they 
help to multiply the kingdom of the devil. To this heavenly 
kingdom our Saviour exhorteth us, saying, QucBriie primum 
regnum Dei et justitiam ejus, et cetera omnia adjicientur 
vobis ; " Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, 
and all other things shall come upon you unlocked for." 
Jacta super Dominum curam tuam ; " Cast all thy care 
upon God," as David saith. Then our principal study shall 
be to hear God's word, and when we have heard it, we shall 



On the Lord's Prayer 301 

believe it and follow it, every man in his vocation. Then 
servants shall yield their obedience to their masters, as God 
requireth of them. Then the parents shall bring up their 
children in the fear of God. Then the children shall be 
obedient to their parents. Then subjects shall be obedient 
to their king and prince, and all his ofificers under him. So 
go throughout all estates, every one shall live uprightly in 
his calling. Then God will bless us, so that we shall lack no 
necessaries in this world ; and then, at the end, we shall come 
to that perfect felicity and joy, that God hath laid up and 
prepared for them that study here to live according to his 
will and commandment. But we must labour and travail ; 
as long as we be in this world we must be occupied. For 
St Paul saith. Si quis non vult operaii, nee manducet ; 
" Whosoever will not labour, let him not eat." Likewise 
David saith, Labores manuum tuarum cojiiedes, et bene tibi 
erit ; "Thou shalt eat the labours of thy hand, and it shall 
go well with thee." For he that will labour, and is content 
to travail for his living, God will prosper him ; he shall not 
lack. Let every man therefore labour in his calling ; for 
so did our Saviour himself, which came into this world to 
teach us the way to heaven, and to suffer death for us. Now 
how diligent he hath been in his office, it appeareih every 
where. For the evangelist saith, Loquebatur illis de reg7io 
Dei ; " He talketh with them of the kingdom of God." Mark 
here, he taught them of the kingdom of God, he taught them 
nothing of the kingdom of this world. For he saith, stand- 
ing before Pilate, Regnum meum no7i est de hoc mundo ; 
" My kingdom is not of this world." He reigneth by faith, 
through his Holy Ghost, in all those which pertain unto him. 
He is not an earthly king, as the Jews hope to have their 
Messias. Therefore when I feel such motions within me, 
then is it time to call upon God ; for such motions come of the 
devil : therefore I must run to God, saying, " Thy kingdom 
come, most loving Father ; help thou ; fight thou for me 
against my enemies ; suffer me not to be taken prisoner ; 
let not my enemies have the victory over me." So we must 
call upon God without intermission. For you may be sure 
we shall never be without battle and travail ; and we are not 
able to withstand our adversary by our own power : there- 
fore it is most needful for us to call and cry unto him for 
help. When we do so, then we shall have grace to with- 
stand the devil ; for he cannot, neither is he able to strive 



302 The Third Sermon 

with God, for all his craft. For the scripture saith, Non est 
consilium contra Domitium ; " No wisdom, no craft can pre- 
vail against the Lord." He will help and deliver us when 
he seeth his time ; for commonly the nature of God is to 
help when all man's help is past. When the devil thinketh 
himself cock-sure, then God cometh and subverteth his wicked 
intents; as it appeared in our Saviour himself: for when the 
devil had brought the Jews to such a madness that they went 
and crucified him, when this was done, the devil triumphed 
and made merry ; he thought himself sure enough of him. 
But what was the end of it ? His triumphing was turned to 
his own destruction. For Christ hanging upon the cross did 
by his death destroy the power of the devil. So we see how 
God suffereth the devil for awhile, and then when he seeth 
his time, he cometh with his gracious helping hand. But, 
as I told you before, the devil hath many inventions, many 
impediments and lets, wherewith he trappeth us. For we 
see there be a great many gospellers, which begun very well 
and godly, but now the most part of them become ambitious 
and covetous persons ; all the world is full of such fellows. 
But what then ? God will preserve his kingdom ; he will 
wrestle with the devil's kingdom, and so shall prevail and 
pull it down to the bottom. Therefore all those which be 
in the kingdom of God must wrestle, strive, and fight with 
the devil : not as the carnal gospellers do, which commonly 
begin well at the first, but now having rest and tranquillity, 
and all things going with them, they leave the gospel, and 
set their minds upon this naughty world. Therefore it is 
good and needful for us to have afflictions and exercises ; for, 
as St Augustine saith. Sanguis Christianorum est veluti 
semen fructuum evangelicorum ; "The blood of Christians is, 
as it were, the seed of the fruit of the gospel." For when 
one is hanged here, and another yonder, then God goeth a 
sowing of his seed. For like as the corn that is cast into the 
ground riseth up again, and is multiplied ; even so the blood 
of one of those which suffer for God's word's sake stirreth 
up a great many. And happy is he to whom it is given to 
suffer for God's holy word's sake ! For it is the greatest 
promotion that a man can have in this world, to die for God's 
sake, or to be despised and contemned for his sake : for they 
shall be well rewarded for their pains and labours. Merces 
vesira multa est in ccelis : "Your reward," saith our Saviour, 
" shall be great in heaven." 



On the Lord's Prayer 303 

Further, when we pray, Adveniat regmiin tuum, " Thy 
kingdom come," we desire of God that there may come more 
and more to the knowledge of God's word. And sec5ndarily, 
we desire of God to bring those which be come already to 
the perfect knowledge of his word, and so to keep them in it 
still to the very end : for not he that beginneth, but he that 
endureth shall be saved. This kingdom of God is double, 
reg7mm gratice, et regnum glorice, "The kingdom of grace, 
and the kingdom of glory, honour, joy, and felicity." As 
long as we be in this world, we be in the kingdom of grace ; 
when we are gone, then we shall come to the kingdom of 
glory. For as long as we be here, God sheweth himself 
unto us by grace ; he ascertaineth us through his Spirit of 
his favour, and so he reigneth within us by grace. But when 
we be once gone, then we shall see him face to face ; which 
we cannot as long as we be here. For he exhibiteth himself 
unto us, not so plainly as he doth unto his angels, which 
be with him in the kingdom of glory. Therefore when we 
say, "Thy kingdom come," we desire of God that he will 
help us to this perfect kingdom, that he will deliver us out of 
this troublous world, and give us everlasting rest. 

I fear there be a great number in England, which if they 
knew what they meant in speaking these words, " Thy king- 
dom come," they would never say them. For they are so 
given to the world, and so set their mind upon it, that they 
could be content that there should never be any end of it. 
Such worldlings, when they say these words, "Thy kingdom 
come," they pray against themselves : for they desire God to 
take them put of this world speedily, and yet they have all 
their delight in it. Therefore such worldlings when they say, 
" Thy kingdom come," either they mock God ; or else they 
understand not the meaning of these words. But we ought 
not to trifle with God : we should not mock him : he will not 
be despised. Qidcquid petimus, a?-denter petatnus, tanquam 
cupietites habere ; '' Let us pray heartily unto him, desirous 
to have the thing wherefore we pray." But the customable 
impenitent sinner cannot say from the bottom of his heart 
this prayer ; for he would have no end of this worldly life ; 
he would have his heaven here. Such fellows are not meet 
to say, " Thy kingdom come ; " for when they do, they pray 
against themselves, Therefore none can say this petition, 
but such as be aweary of this world. Such faithful folk 
would have him to come speedily, and make an end of their 



304 The Third Sermon 

miseries. It is with the Christians like as it is in a realm 
where there is a confusion, and no good order : those which 
are good would fain have a parliament ; for then they think 
it shall be better with them, they trust all things shall be 
well amended. Sometimes the councils be good, but the 
constitutions like not the wicked, and so they begin to cry 
out as fast as they did before. Sometimes the councils be 
naught, then the good people cry out ; and so they be never 
at rest. But there is one parliament that will remedy all the 
matters : be they never so weighty or heavy, it will despatch 
them clean. And this parliament will be sufficient for all 
realms of the whole world : which is the last day. Where 
our Saviour himself will bear the rule, there shall be nothing 
done amiss, I warrant you ; but every one as he hath de- 
served, so he shall have : the wicked shall have hell, the good 
shall possess heaven. Now this is the thing that we pray for 
when we say, " Thy kingdom come : " and truly the faithful 
penitent sinners do desire that parliament, even from the 
bottom of their hearts. For they know that therein reform- 
ations of all things shall be had : they know that it shall 
be well with them in that day ; and therefore they say from 
the bottom of their hearts, "Thy kingdom come." They 
know that there shall be a great difference between that 
parliament that Christ shall keep, and the parliaments of this 
world. For in this world this is the common rule, Qjio scele- 
ratior eo fortunatior ; "The more wicked, the better luck." 
Which is a wonderful thing to consider how it cometh to pass, 
that for the most part wicked bodies have the best luck. 
They are in wealth and health ; insomuch that a man may 
much marvel at it, as Esdras, David, and others do : specially 
considering that God curseth them in his laws, and threaten- 
eth them that they shall have none of his benefits : .SV non 
audieris vocem Domini, maledictus in agro ; "If thou wilt 
not hear the voice of the Lord thy God, thou shalt be cursed 
in the field, &c." These be the words of God, which he 
speaketh against the wicked ; and it must needs be so, but 
yet we see by experience daily the contrary. Wherefore 
doth God suffer the wicked to subvert his order.? The order 
is, that those which do well shall receive good things at 
God's hand ; they shall be blessed, and all things shall go 
well with them. Now, how chanceth it that we see daily the 
wicked to be blessed of God, to have and possess his benefits, 
and the good to be cursed, which is a wonderful thmg? 



On the Lord's Prayer 305 

God the Almighty, which is most true, yea, the Truth itself, 
doth it not without a cause. One cause is, that it is his 
pleasure to shew his benefits as well unto the wicked as to the 
good. For he letteth them have their pastime here, as it is 
written, Sole?fi suum oriri sinit super justos et injustos ; 
" He letteth his sun shine as well over the wifcked as over 
the good." And I tell you, this is for the exercise of those 
which serve God with godly living : they are promised, that 
it shall go well with them, and yet have they all the ill. 
This maketh them to think that there is another world, 
wherein they shall be rewarded ; and so giveth them occasion 
to hawk and hunt for the other world : whereas otherwise 
they would forget God, if they should have all things accord- 
ing to their hearts' desire, as the wicked have ; which in very 
deed do forget God, their mind being so occupied with other 
business, that they can have no leisure to inquire for God 
or his kingdom. Again, he suffereth them to turn his order, 
to the intent that they may be brought to repentance, when 
they see his great goodness shewed unto them ; in that, 
notwithstanding all their wickedness, he suffereth them to en- 
joy the good things of the world. And so by his benefits he 
would give them occasion to leave sin and wickedness : as 
St Paul saith, Dei bonitas ie ad pxnitentiam adducit ; "The 
goodness of God allureth us to amendment of our life." But 
when they will not amend, then Cuhiulant sibi ipsis if am in 
die irce, "They heap up to themselves the wrath of God 
in the day of wrath." 

Now you have heard the causes, wherefore God suffereth 
the wicked to enjoy his gifts. But I would will and desire 
you most heartily, for God's sake, to consider that the judg- 
ment of God at the latter day shall be right, according unto 
justice : it will then appear who hath been good or bad» 
And this is the only comfort of all christian people, that they 
know that they shall be delivered from all their troubles and 
vexations. Let us therefore have a desire that this day may 
come quickly. Let us hasten God forward. Let us cry untcv 
him day and night, Adveniat regnum tuum ; " Most merciful 
Father, thy kingdom come." St Paul saith, N'on vetiiet Do- 
minus nisi vefiiat defectio ; "The Lord will not come till the 
swerving from faith cometh : " which thing is already done 
and past. Antichrist is known throughout all the world. 
Wherefore the day is not far off. Let us beware, for it will 
one day fall upon our heads. St Peter saith. Finis omniunt 



3o6 



The Third Sermon 



appropinquat ; ''The end of all things draweth very near." 
If St Peter said so in his time, how much more shall we say 
so ! For it is a long time since St Peter spake these words. 
The world was ordained to endure, as all learned men affirm 
and prove it with scripture, six thousand years. Now of 
that number there be passed five thousand (five hundred) and 
fifty-two ; so that there is no more left but four hundred and 
forty-eight. And furthermore, those days shall be shortened : 
it shall not be full six thousand years. Nai7i abbreviahintur 
dies propter electos ; " The days shall be shortened for the 
elect's sake." Therefore all those excellent learned men, 
which without doubt God hath sent into this world in these 
latter days to give the world warning, all those men do gather 
out of scripture that the last day cannot be far off. And this 
is most certain and sure, that whensoever he cometh, he 
cometh not too timely ; for all things which ought to come 
before are passed now : so that if he come this night or to- 
morrow, he cometh not too early. Therefore, good people, 
let us make ready towards his coming. And though he cometh 
not at this time, yet let us make ready ; for we are not sure 
when we shall be called to make account before the Lord. 
All good and godly people since the world began endeavoured 
themselves to make ready towards this day. But, O Lord, 
how wretched and miserable, yea, and how careless we be ! 
Therefore it will be like as he saith : Cum dixerint, Pax et 
tra7iqtiillitas, "When they say, all thing is well and quiet," 
tutic repetitinus siiperveniet illis interitus, " then they shall 
be suddenly taken, and perish ; " like as dives epuio, that rich 
glutton, did. He ate and drank, he builded a new barn, (for 
the old was too little for him,) then he said to himself, "Now 
my soul, now be merry and take thy pleasure ; for thou hast 
riches enough for many years." But what said God ? What 
said he? Stulte, hac ?iocte, "Thou fool, this night they will 
fetch thy soul from thee : whose shall those riches be then 
which thou hast heaped up ? " And so shall all those be 
taken and trapped like this epuio, which will not make ready, 
which refuse the warnings of God ; they shall be taken so 
suddenly to their everlasting wo. For scripture giveth warn- 
ing unto every one, saying, Sictit ifi diebus JVoah, &c. " Like 
as in the days of Noah, they will eat and drink, and marry, 
&c." To eat, and to drink, and marry, is godly and lawful ; 
but to do it otherwise than God hath commanded, it is wicked 
.and. damnable. To eat without thanksgiving, or to eat other 



On the Lord's Prayer 307 

men's flesh, or to play the glutton more than sufficeth nature, 
this is wicked. Item, to marry upon other respects than God 
hath appointed and expressed in his most holy laws, is wicked 
and damnable : else, Honorabile conjuglum inter omnes, " Mar- 
riage is honourable amongst all men ; " but to marry for 
wantonness' sake, that is wicked. Viderunt filii Dei filias 
hominum ; " The sons of God saw the daughters of men." 
This did Noah rebuke in his time, but they laughed at it. 
He prepared the ark, and went into it : at the length the flood 
fell upon their heads. Sicut in diebus Loth, " As in the days 
of Lot:" what did they? Ingressus es advena, "Thou art 
come hither a stranger." Regarding nothing God's word, 
which was shewed unto them through that good man Lot, 
they were wicked, whoremongers, drunkards, covetous persons. 
But what followeth ; what foUoweth, I say ? Consider the 
end : " The fire from heaven fell upon them suddenly and 
consumed them all." At nos non suinus in tenebris ; " We 
be not in darkness." We have the word of God, we know 
what is his will; therefore let us watch, for he will come 
like a thief in the night. Happy are we if he shall find us 
watching ! 

This is the effect of this petition, wherein we desire that 
God will send down faith from heaven ; that he will continue 
in me my faith, and every man's, so that we may be ready 
to go with him when his kingdom shall come. Now as' many 
as pertain to this kingdom of God, shall have one property 
amongst other things, — they shall have an earnest mind and 
stedfast purpose to leave sin, according to St Paul's saying, 
Ne regnet igitur peccatum in vestro mortali corpore ; " Let 
not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies." God's king- 
dom shall reign in us, and not the devil's. Therefore when 
the devil tempteth thee, withstand him ; give not over ; let 
him not get the victory. As for an ensample : when thou 
seest a fair woman, an ill desire riseth up in thy heart towards 
her : this lust is of the devil. Call therefore for help ; let 
him not occupy thy heart. Then surely God will help, 
for he hath promised. Nulla condemnatio lis qui sunt in 
Christo ; " There is no condemnation to such as are in Christ 
Jesu ; " when we do not allow sin, nor agree unto it. There- 
fore dispose yourselves so to live according unto his will, 
which can and will preserve us from the devil, and bring us 
into his kingdom. Which grant us God the Father, God the 
Son, and God the Holy Ghost ! Amen. 



SERMONS ON THE LORD'S PRAYER 

The Fourth Sermon upon the Lord's Prayer. 

Fiat voluntas tua. — Matthew vi. lo. 
Thy will be done. 

After this form our Saviour, a perfect schoolmaster, 
taught christian people to pray, "Our Father, which art in 
heaven ; thy will be done." And here he teacheth us two 
things, as he did afore in the other petitions. First, he 
teacheth us to understand what we be of ourselves; namely, 
nothing at all, not able to do any thing pleasant to God : and 
so he plucketh us down, cutteth off our combs, bringeth us 
low ; which else would be proud, as though we could do 
somewhat that we cannot do indeed : like as those merit- 
mongers do, which esteem themselves after their merits, think 
themselves perfect ; insomuch that their works shall not only 
help themselves, but also others : therefore they take in hand 
to sell them for money. These fellows know not themselves, 
and therefore they do contrary unto this petition. Where our 
Saviour teacheth us, that we can do nothing of ourselves ; 
they, contrary to that petition, will do all things alone, and 
with their merits bring to pass all matters. But our Saviour, 
contrary to that, teacheth us two things in this petition : 
first, he pulleth down our stomachs, and teacheth us to know 
ourselves : secondarily, he sheweth us what we shall do ; 
namely, call upon God our heavenly Father, that he will 
help us, that we may be able to do his will ; for of our own 
selves we are not able to do any thing acceptable unto him-. 
And this is a good doctrine, which admonisheth us to give all 
praise unto God, and not to ascribe it to our own selves : 
for so did St Paul when he said, Omnia possum in eo qui 
comfortat me; "I am able to do all things that pertain to 
God's honour and glory, through him that strengtheneth me."' 
He said not, " through mine own self;" but, " through God 
which helpeth me." And here appeareth the right humilia- 

308 



Fourth Sermon on the Lord's Prayer 309 

tion and lowliness, which our Saviour teacheth us in this 
petition. For he would have us to know our own impossibility 
and unableness to do any thing ; and then, again, he would 
have us to call for aid and help to God ; therefore he teacheth 
us to say, Adveniat regnum iuutn, " Thy kingdom come : " 
so that though we be not able through our own selves to do 
any thing, yet when we call upon him he will help. For 
Christ knew his Father's will and loving affections towards 
us : he knew that he would help us, for he was a perfect 
schoolmaster ; else he would not have commanded us to pray, 
Fiat voluntas tua, " Thy will be done." 

Here we must understand, that the will of God is to be 
considered after two sorts. First, as it is omnipotent, un- 
searchable, and that cannot be known unto us. Now we do 
not pray that his will so considered be done. For his will 
so considered is and ever shall be fulfilled, though we would 
say nay to it. For nothing, either in heaven or in earth, 
is able to withstand his will. Wherefore it were but folly for 
us to pray to have it fulfilled, otherwise than to shew thereby 
that we give our consent to his will, which is to us unsearch- 
able. But there is another consideration of God's will ; and 
in that consideration we and all faithful Christians desire that 
it may be done : and so considered, it is called a revealed, 
a manifested, and declared will ; and it is opened unto us 
in the bible, in the new and old testament : there God hath 
revealed a certain will ; therefore we pray that it may be 
done and fulfilled of us. This will was opened by Moses and 
the holy prophets, and afterward by our Saviour himself and 
his apostles ; which he left behind him to that end, that they 
should instruct the world and teach them his will : which 
apostles have done according to their master's commandment; 
for they not only spake it, but also wrote it to that end that 
it should remain to the world's end. And truly we are much 
bound to God, that he hath set out this his will in our natural 
mother tongue, in English, I say, so that now you may 
not only hear it, but also read it yourselves ; which thing 
is a great comfort to every christian heart. For now you can 
no more be deceived, as you have been in times past, when 
we did bear you in hand that popery was the word of God : 
which falsehood we could not have brought to pass, if the 
word of God, the bible, had been abroad in the common 
tongue : for then you might have perceived yourselves our 
falsehood and blindness. This I speak to that end, to move 



3IO The Fourth Sermon 

you to thankfulness towards him which so lovingly provideth 
all things necessary to our salvation. 

Now to the matter. Almighty God, I say, set out his 
will by Moses and his prophets ; and this will is contained in 
certain laws, which laws God commandeth that we should 
keep ever before our eyes, and look upon them as in a glass ; 
and so learn to order our lives according unto the same. 
And in case that a man swerve from the same, and so fall 
into the danger of damnation, God revealed further his will, 
how to remedy the matter, namely, by repentance and faith ; 
so that whosoever from the bottom of his heart is sorry for 
his sins, and studieth to leave them and live uprightly, and 
then believeth in our Saviour, confessing that he came into 
this world to make amends for our sins, this man or woman 
shall not perish, but have forgiveness of sins, and so obtain 
everlasting life. And this will God revealeth specially in the 
new testament, where our Saviour saith, Qui credit iti tue 
habet vitam cEteniam ; "Whosoever believeth in me hath 
everlasting life : " where we learn that our Saviour is or- 
dained of God to bring us to heaven, else we should have 
been all damned world without end. So that in this prayer, 
when we say, " Thy will be done," we desire of God that he 
will help and strengthen us, so that we may keep his holy 
laws and commandments. And then again we desire of him, 
that he will endue us with the gift of faith ; so that we may 
believe that all those things which we do contrary to his 
laws, be pardoned and forgiven unto us through his Son, 
for his passion's sake. And further, we desire him that he 
will fortify and strengthen us, so that we may withstand the 
devil's will and our own, which fight against God's will ; so 
that we may be able to bear all tribulations and afflictions 
willingly and patiently, for his sake. This is the simple 
meaning of this petition, when we say, " Thy will be done." 

I will go a little further, and shew you somewhat more 
of it : yet I intend not to tarry long, for I am not very well 
at ease this morning ; therefore I will make it short. I have 
said now many times, and I say it yet again, Quod petimus, 
ardenter petaitius tanquam cupientes habere ; " Whatsoever 
we desire of God, let us desire it from the bottom of our 
hearts." But I fear me, there be many which say this prayer, 
and yet cannot tell what they say; or at the least their 
hearts are contrary disposed unto it. Such people I exhort 
on God's behalf to consider their duties, to consider that God 



On the Lord's Prayer 311 

will not be mocked withal, he will not be derided. We laugh 
God to scorn, when we say one thing with our mouth, and 
think another thing with our hearts. Take this for an 
ensample. Our rebels which rose about two years ago in 
Norfolk and Devonshire, they considered not this petition : 
they said it with their lips only, but not with their hearts. 
Almighty God hath revealed his will as concerning magistrates, 
how he will have them to be honoured and obeyed : they 
were utterly bent against it. He revealed this will in many 
places of the scripture ; but specially by St Peter, where he 
saith, Subditi estate omni huinan(^ creaturce : that is thus much 
to say in effect, " Be ye subject to all the common laws made 
by men of authority ; by the king's majesty, and his most 
honourable council, or by a common parliament : be subject 
unto them, obey them," saith God. And here is but one 
exception, that is, against God. When laws are made against 
God and his word, then I ought more to obey God than man. 
Then I may refuse to obey with a good conscience : yet for 
all that I may not rise up against the magistrates, nor make 
any uproar; for if I do so, I sin damnably. I must be 
content to suffer whatsoever God shall lay upon me, yet I may 
not obey their wicked laws to do them. Only in such a case 
men may refuse to obey ; else in all the other matters we 
ought to obey. What laws soever they make as concerning 
outward things we ought to obey, and in no wise to rebel, 
although they be never so hard, noisome and hurtful. Our 
duty is to obey, and commit all the matters unto God ; not 
doubting but that God will punish them, when they do 
contrary to their office and calling. Therefore tarry till God 
correct them ; we may not take upon us to reform them, for 
it is no part of our duty. If the rebels, I say, had considered 
this, think you they would have preferred their own will afore 
God's will ? For, doing as they did, they prayed against 
themselves. But I think that ignorance was a great cause of 
it. Truly I think if this had been opened unto them, they 
would never have taken such an enterprise in hand. 

And here we have occasion to consider, how much we be 
bounden unto God, that he openeth unto us his word so 
plainly, and teacheth us so truly how we should behave our- 
selves towards the magistrates and their laws : but for all that, 
I fear there be some of us which little regard their laws and 
statutes. Such despisers of magistrates, when they pray, 
they pray against themselves. There be laws made of diet, 



312 The Fourth Sermon 

how we shall feed our bodies, what meat we shall eat at all 
times ; and this law is made in policy, as I suppose, for victuals' 
sake, that fish might be uttered as well as other meat. Now 
as long as it goeth so in policy, we ought to keep it. There- 
fore all except those that be dispensed withal, as sick, impotent^ 
persons, women with child, or old folks, or licensed persons, 
all the rest ought to live in an ordinary obedience to those 
laws, and not do against the same in any wise. There be 
laws made for apparel, how we shall cover our nature. Is 
there not many which go otherwise than God and the 
magistrates command them to go ? There is made a law for 
gaming, how we shall recreate our bodies ; for we must have 
some recreation because of the weakness of our nature. In 
that law we be inhibited carding, dicing, tabling and bowling, 
and such manner of games, which are expressed in the sa^^f^ 
act. You may read it, and you ought to read it, and to 
know the acts : for how can you keep them when you know 
them not ? Every faithful subject will not disdain to read 
the acts, and the king's majesty's proceedings, so that he may 
know what is allowed or forbidden in the same acts. And 
I myself read the acts, for it is meet so for us to do. Now 
again, this is a great matter that God is so kind towards us, 
that he disdaineth not to reveal his will, what order we shall 
keep in our diet, in our refreshing and garments. Therefore 
it is most meet for us to live in subjection, and not to prefer 
our own will before God's will. For when I do stubbornly 
against those acts set out by our natural king, and his most 
honourable counsellors ; then I prefer my will afore God's will, 
and so sin damnably. These things ought well to be noted, 
for it is not a trifling matter ; there hangeth damnation or 
salvation upon it. Therefore, as I said before, it is good to 
know the laws, and I call him a good man, and her a good 
woman, that are content to be ruled by the laws, and so 
declare their subjection and obedience unto God and the 
magistrates. 

There be some men that say, " When the king's majesty 
himself comandeth me to do so, then I will do it, not afore." 
This is a wicked saying, and damnable : for we may not so 
be excused. Scripture is plain in it, and sheweth us that we 
ought to obey his officers, having authority from the king, as 
well as unto the king himself. Therefore this excuse will 
not, nor cannot serve afore God. Yet let the magistrates 
take heed to their office and duties ; for the magistrates may 



On the Lord's Prayer 313 

not do all things according to their pleasures and minds. 
They have authority of God to do well, and not harm ; to 
edify, and not to destroy ; to punish the wicked and 
obstinate, and to comfort those which live well and godly ; to 
•defend the same from wrong and injuries of the wicked. So 
it appeareth that every one in his order, in his degree and 
calling, ought to do the will of God, and not our own will 
and pleasure. This is our duty, happy are we if we do it 
indeed ! O that men in authority would consider whereunto 
God hath ordained them ! St Paul saith the magistrate is 
Ultor ad iram, " He is God's ordinary minister, to punish 
malefacto/s and ill doers." God saith, Mihi vindicia, ego 
retribuam : "I will avenge myself," saith God; and so he 
doth by his magistrates : for that is his ordinary way, whereby 
he punishes malefactors. But magistrates must take heed 
they go no further than God alloweth them to do. If they 
do, they themselves shall be punished : as there be many 
ensamples in scripture, whereby appeareth, how grievously 
God hath punished wicked magistrates. 

Finally, St Peter giveth a rule not only unto the magis- 
trates, but also unto the subjects, saying, Hcec est voluntas 
Dei, ut obturetis os adversariorum bene agendo : " It is the 
will of God," saith Peter, "that you with your good, godly, 
and honest conversation shall stop the mouth of your adver- 
saries." What called St Peter well-doing? Well-doing is to 
live according to God's laws and commandments. God's com- 
mandment is, that we shall obey magistrates : therefore those 
which disobey and transgress the laws of the magistrates, 
they do not according to God's will and pleasure ; they do 
but mock God, they stop not the mouth of the adversaries, 
as St Peter would have them to do ; but they give rather 
occasion unto the wicked to slander and blaspheme the holy 
word of God. St Peter would have us to stop their mouth 
with well-doings. Many men, when they have been reproved 
of preachers because of their wicked living, they have gone 
about to stop their mouth with slanderous words : this stop- 
ping is an ill stopping. St Peter would have us to stop with 
well-doing. Now, will magistrates not be spoken ill of and 
reproved of preachers ? Let them do well. Likewise saith 
St Paul of the subjects. Vis non tiinere potestatem ? Benefac 
et habebis laudem : " Wilt thou not fear the higher power ? 
Do well, and thou shalt be commended." Now even as it is 
with the temporal sword, so is it with the spiritual. There 



314 The Fourth Sermon 

be some men which cannot away withal, if they be rebuked ; 
they cannot bear when the preacher speaketh against their 
wickedness : unto them I say, Vis non timere prcedicatorem ? 
Benefac: "Will you not to be rebuked of the preacher? 
Then do well." Leave off your covetousness, your ambition, 
your irefulness, vengeance, and malice, your lechery and 
filthiness, your blood-shedding, and such like sins ; leave 
them, amend your life, or else the preacher, according to his 
ofifice, will rebuke and reprove you : be you never so great 
lords or ladies, he will rub you on the gall. For a good 
and godly preacher can do no less, seeing God dishonoured, 
perceiving him to be blasphemed, his will to be neglected, 
and not executed of them that ought with all their study and 
endeavour to apply themselves that his will might be done. 
For he is well worthy : he is the Lord ; he created heaven 
and earth, and is therefore the right natural Lord over it. 
But for all that, the devil is lord more than he is : not by 
right or inheritance, but by conquest, by usurpation ; he is 
an usurper. God, as I said before, is the natural and lawful 
Lord over the earth, because he made it : yet it pleased his 
divine majesty to make mankind, as ye would say, lieutenant 
over it ; so that mankind should bear the rule over the whole 
earth. Therefore God said unto him, Dominami?ii, " Be 
ruler over it : " Item, Replete terra?}!, et subjicite illam ; also, 
*' Replenish the earth, and subdue it." Here Adam and his 
wife, and so all his posterity, were by God made rulers over 
the earth, as God's high deputies, or his lieutenants. So, as 
concerning God's ordinance, mankind was the lawful inheritor 
of this kingdom. But now cometh in the devil with his 
crafty conveyances, and with his false subtilties. He in- 
veigled first the woman, and afterward the man, persuading 
them to transgress God's holy commandments; with which 
so doing they lost the favour of God and their dignities : 
and so the devil, through his false lies, substituted himself 
as an usurper or conqueror ; and so he is a possessor, non 
per fas, sed ?iefas, not lawfully, but wrongfully. Though he 
did say to our Saviour, shewing him all the kingdoms of the 
world, Ciiicunque volo do ilia, " I may give them to whom- 
soever I will," he iieth falsely, God will destroy him at the 
length, for all his subtilties and lies : they shall not save him. 
Yet for all that he is a great ruler. For this is most certain 
and true, a great many more do the will of the devil 
than of God. Whatsoever they babble with their mouths, 



On the Lord's Prayer 315 

look upon their works, and you shall find it so. For all 
proud persons, all ambitious persons, which be ever climbing 
up, and yet never be well, all such do not the will of 
God, and therefore pertain not to his kingdom. All ireful, 
rebellious persons, all quarrellers and wranglers, all blood- 
shedders, do the will of the devil, and not God's will. God 
saith, Mihi vindicta, ego retribuam., " I will avenge myself ; " 
which he doth through the magistrate; and when the magis- 
trate is slack, he doth it himself. Now those ireful, malicious 
persons, that hate their neighbours, they do not the will of 
God, but of the devil. Also these subtil, deceitful persons, 
which have no conscience to defraud and beguile their neigh- 
bours ; that care not for breaking their promises, nor are 
not ashamed to utter false ware, they pertain all to the devil. 
Item, these that will not make restitution of goods ill 
gotten, they serve the devil. Scripture saith, Qi/i peccat ex 
diabolo est ; " Whosoever sinneth is of the devil: ''" which is 
a very hard word to be spoken of the Holy Ghost, and 
a fearful word, able to withdraw us from sin, if we had 
any fear of God in our hearts. Amongst these may be 
numbered all slothful persons, which' will not travail for 
their livings; they do the will of the devil. God biddeth 
us to get our living with labour ; they will not labour, but 
go rather about a begging, and spoil the very poor and 
needy. Therefore such vahant beggars are thieve's before 
God. Some of these valiant lubbers, when they came to my 
house, I communed with them, burthening them with the 
transgression of God's laws. " Is this not a great labour," 
say they, " to run from one town to another to get our meat ? 
I think we labour as hard as other men do." In such wise 
they go about to excuse their unlawful beggary and thievery. 
But such idle lubbers are much deceived ; for they consider 
not that such labour is not allowed of God. We must 
labour so as may stand with godliness, according to his 
appointment ; else thieves which rob in the night-time, do 
they not labour ? Yea, sometimes they labour with great 
care, peril, and danger of their lives. Is it therefore godly, 
because it is a labour ? No, no : we must labour as God 
hath appointed us, every man in his estate.^ Further, these 
drunkards, which abuse the gifts of God ; also these lecherers 
and whoremongers, that live in adultery ; these violators of 
holy matrimony, which live not according unto God's law ; 
item, these swearers, forswearers,- liars, all those do not the 



3i6 



The Fourth Sermon 



will of God. Therefore it is to be lamented of every chris- 
tian heart, when they see how many servants the devil hath, 
and God so few. But all those which serve the devil are 
rebels against God. God was their Lord ; they swerve from 
him through wicked living, and so become servants of the 
devil. Therefore those christian people that have a desire 
to live after God's will and commandments, they live amongst 
the wicked even as it were amongst the rebels. They that 
dwelled in Norfolk or Devonshire at the time of rebellion, 
they which were faithful to their king and prince, how think 
you they were entreated ? Full miserably, God knoweth : 
either they were constrained to help their wicked purposes, 
or else they must suffer all calamities which could be devised. 
Even so shall all those be entreated, which intend to live well, 
according to God's commandments. For the rebels, that is, 
the wicked which have forsaken their Lord God, and taken 
the devil to be ruler over them, they shall compel them to 
follow, or else to suffer all calamities and miseries. And so 
shall be verified the saying of our Saviour Christ, Non veni 
ut mittaiti pace7n sed gladium : "I anr not come, saith he, 
to send peace, but the sword." Which is indeed a strange 
saying, but it hath his understanding : God is a God of 
peace and concord, he loveth unity and concord ; but when 
he cannot have peace by the reason of the devil, then he 
will have the sword : that is to say, God loveth unity, he 
would have us all agree together, but because of the wicked 
we cannot : therefore he will rather have us to choose the 
sword, that is, to strive and withstand their wickedness, than 
to agree unto them. And therefore this doctrine is called 
a seditious doctrine : but who are those rebels ? Even they 
themselves which call this doctrine seditious ; they them- 
selves, I say, are traitors against God. Wherefore our 
Saviour, seeing he can have no peace with the wicked, he 
will have us rather to withstand their wickedness, and so 
bring them to reformation : and this is the cause wherefore 
he will have his flock segregated from the wicked. 

Therefore let us pray unto God our heavenly Father, 
Fiat voluntas tua ; " Thy will be done." This is the prayer 
of all christian people, which have a will to do God's will : 
but those impenitent sinners, which are not yet weary of 
their sins, do never pray ; for though they say the words, 
yet it is to no purpose. They say them without under- 
standing : therefore it is but lip-labour, it is no prayer, it 



On the Lord's Prayer 317 

is but the devil's service. For a man may serve the devil 
with saying the Patennoster, when he saith it with a defiled 
mind. Let us, therefore, order ourselves so that we may 
say it worthily, as it ought to be. Let us lay away all 
wickedness and ill living, so that we may say from the 
bottom of our heart, " Our Father, which art in heaven, 
thy will be done." And so did Susanna, that godly woman ; 
so did lady Judith ; so did queen Esther ; so did all good 
saints of God : and though this prayer was not made at 
that time, by the reason they were a great while afore 
Christ's coming ; yet they had this prayer in effect. For 
they believed in almighty God ; they believed in Abraham's 
Seed, which was promised : which faith stood them in as 
good stead, and they were as well saved through that same 
belief, as we now through our belief. For it is no difference 
between their belief and ours, but this : they believed in 
Christ which was to come, and we believe in Christ, which 
is come already. Now their belief served them as well as 
ours doth us. For at that time God required no further 
at their hands than was opened unto them. We have in 
our time a further and more perfect knowledge of Christ 
than they had. Now Susanna, when the judges, the same 
wicked men, came unto her, and moved her with fearful 
threatenings to do their wills, that is, to sin against God 
in doing that filthy act of lechery, (for the same wicked 
judges bare a wicked damnable love towards her,) think 
you not she resorted unto God ? Yes, yes, without doubt : 
she said these words in effect. Pater ?wster, fiat voluntas 
tua ; " Our Father, thy will be done," and not the will of 
the wicked men. Therefore she putting her hope and trust 
in God, having a respect that his will might be done, and 
not the devil's will, God, which is ever true, did not fail her ; 
for you know how she was delivered through young Daniel. 
This is written to our instruction : for he is now the self-same 
God that he was at that time. He is as mighty as he was ; 
he is as ready as he was. She was in anguish and great 
distress, she sought to hallow his holy name; therefore he 
did help her, he suffered her not to perish. So certainly 
he will do unto us too. Therefore when we be in trouble, 
let us hallow his name, and then we shall find his help like 
as Susan did. In such wise did Judith, when she was pro- 
voked of Holofernes to do wickedly. She sought rather to 
sanctify God's name, to do his will, than the will of the 



3i8 



The Fourth Sermon 



devil ; therefore God gave her such a triumphant victory. 
So did queen Hester when Hammon, that wicked fellow, had 
power over her : she committed all the matter unto God 
with fasting and prayer. But Saint Peter, what did he ? 
Marry, he forgat his Pater-noster ; for when there came 
but a foolish wench, asking him, " Art not thou a Galilean ? 
Art not thou one of this new learning ? Art not thou a 
gospeller ? " what did Peter ? He was gone quite : he denied 
it : he forgat his Pater-noster. For if he had had grace 
to consider that he ought rather to suffer death, than forsake 
his master Christ, then he would have said, Pater noster, fiat 
voluntas tua, " Our Father, thy will be done. I am ready to 
suffer for thy sake whatsoever thou shalt lay upon me." But he 
did not so, he forgot himself. What did our Saviour ? He 
turned back and looked upon him. Happy was Peter that our 
Saviour looked upon him again, for it was a gracious token ! 

Judas, that false man, that traitor, forgat this same peti- 
tion, and remained so in his error still to the end. Surely 
he was a sorrowful and a heavy man. Insomuch that he 
made restitution, he was much better than a great many 
of us be, which, when they have injured and wronged poor 
men, will make no restitution, I tell you truth, Judas was 
much better than such fellows be. Pcenitentia ductus, " Led 
to repentance," saith the text ; but he lacked faith. And 
so between Peter and him, which were both two sorrowful 
men, this was the difference, — Peter had faith, Judas'lacked it : 
yet he was exceeding sorrowful for his wickedness, insomuch 
that he went and hanged himself; therefore he forgat this 
petition. So likewise all voluntary sinners, all unrepentant 
sinners, none of them all saith this petition as they ought to 
do : they say not worthily nor profitably, for they have no will 
to do his will ; their will is to do their own will and pleasure. 

But above all things, these quest-mongers ^ had need to 
take heed ; for there all things goeth by oath. They had 
need to say, "Our Father, thy will be done;" for they shall 
be moved to do this and that, which is against God. They 
must judge by their oath, according to conscience, " Guilty," 
or " Not guilty." When he is guilty, in what case are those 
which say, " Not guilty ? " Scripture doth shew what a 
thing it is, when a man is a malefactor, and the quest-mongers 
justify him, and pronounce him not guilty ; saying, Et qui 
justificat impium, et qui condenmat justurn, ambo abomina- 

' Jurors. 



On the Lord's Prayer 319 

biles coram Domino : " He that justifieth the wicked, and he 
that condemneth the just man, they are both abominable 
before the Lord." Who is abominable ? He that doth not 
the will of God : the will of God is, that the wicked should 
be punished. I myself did once know where there was a 
man slain of another man in anger : it was done openly, the 
man-killer was taken and put in prison. Suit was made to 
the quest-mongers : for it was a rich man that had done the 
act. At the length, every man had a crown for his good- 
will : and so this open man-killer was pronounced not guilty. 
Lo, they sold their souls unto the devil for five shillings, for 
which souls Christ suffered death : and I dare pronounce, 
except they amend and be sorry for their faults, they shall 
be damned in hell world without end. They had clean for- 
gotten this petition, " Thy will be done : " for they did the 
will of the devil. It had been a good deed to cut off their 
crowns by their necks, to the ensample of all others. There- 
fore, I say, these quest-mongers had need to say, " Our 
Father, which art in heaven, thy will be done." For truly 
it is marvel that this realm sinketh not down to hell head- 
long. What perjuries, swearing and cursing is everywhere, in 
every corner ! Therefore, I say, we had need to pray earnestly, 
that God's will may be done. And we should be content to 
lose our lives for righteousness' sake ; for he that loseth his 
life, for because he will not agree to the dishonour of God, he 
seeketh that God's will may be done. Happy is that man, for 
he findeth his life, he loseth it not : for Christ will be his keeper. 
Joab, that great and valiant captain, he knew well enough 
when David sent unto him good Urias with letters ; he knew, 
I say, that the king's will was against God's will : yet he 
looked through his fingers ; he winked at it ; he would 
rather do the wicked will of the king than the will of God. 
Of such fellows there be a great number, which care not for 
the honour and will of God. These chaplains about the 
king, and great men, had need to say. Fiat voluntas tua, 
" Our Father, thy will be done." But they are very slow 
and slack ; they wink commonly at all matters, be they never 
so bad. They be capella?ii ad manus., chaplains at hand. 
They will not arguere munduni de peccato, "They dare not 
rebuke the world of sin ; " they dare not do as the prophet 
commandeth unto them to do, when he saith, Audiant monies 
judicia Domini, "Let the hills hear the judgments of the 
Lord ; " though they smoke, as he saith, tatige monies, et 



320 The Fourth Sermon 

fumigabunf, "Touch the hills, and they will smoke." Yea, 
and though they smoke, yet strike them ; spare them not, 
tell them their faults. But great men cannot suffer that, to 
be so rebuked ; their chaplains must be taught discretion, if 
they will go so to work. They say commonly, magistrates 
should be brought out of estimation, if they should be handled 
scK Sirs, I will tell you what you shall do to keep your 
estimation and credit. Do well ; handle uprightly and in- 
dififerently all matters ; defend the people from oppressions ; 
do your office as God has appointed you to do : when you do 
so, I warrant you, you shall keep your estimation and credit. 
And I warrant you again, the preacher will not strike nor 
cut you with his sword ; but rather praise you, and commend 
your well-doings. Else, when you do naught, and wickedly 
oppress the poor, and give false judgments ; when you do 
so, that is no godly preacher that will hold his peace, and not 
strike you with his sword that you smoke again. But it is 
commonly as the scripture saith, Laudatiir impius in deside- 
riis atiimce suce ; "The wicked is praised in the desires of his 
wickedness." Chaplains will not do their duties ; they will 
not draw their swords, but rather flatter ; they will use dis- 
cretion. But what shall follow ? Marry, they shall have 
God's curse upon their heads for their labour : this shall be 
all their gains that they shall get by their flatterings. An- 
other scripture saith, Qi^i potestatevi exercent, hi beneficia 
vocantur ; " The great and mighty men be called benefactors, 
well-doers : " but of whom be they called so ? Marry, of 
flatterers, of those which seek not to do the will of God, but 
the pleasures of men. 

St John Baptist, that hardy knight and excellent preacher 
of God, he said this petition right with a good faith ; " Our 
Father, thy will be done : " therefore he went to the king, 
saying, Non licet tibi ; " Sir, it is not lawful for thee so to 
do." See what boldness he had ! How hot a stomach in 
God's quarrel, to defend God's honour and glory ! But our 
chaplains, what do they now-a-days ? Marry, they wink at it, 
they will not displease : for they seek livings, they seek bene- 
fices ; therefore they be not worthy to be God's officers. 
Esay, that faithful minister of God, he is a good plain fellow ; 
he telleth them the matter in plain, saying, Argenturn timm 
versuin est in scoriam, principes tui injideles, socii funan : 
" Thy silver is turned to dross, thy princes are unfaithful, and 
fellows of thieves." He is no flatterer, he telleth them the 



On the Lord's Prayer 321 

truth. " Thy princes," said he, " are bribe-takers, subverters 
of justice." This Isaiah did, for he had respect to God's 
word : he perceived things amiss ; he knew that it was his 
part to admonish, to cut them with his sword. Would God 
our preachers would be so fervent to promote the honour and 
glory of God, to admonish the great and the small to do the 
will of the Lord ! I pray God they may be as fervent as 
our Saviour was, when he said to his disciples. Mens cibus 
est, ut faciam volu7itateni Patris mei qui est in ccelo ; " My 
meat is to do the will of my Father which is in heaven : " 
that is to say, " You are no more desirous to eat your meat 
when you be a-hungry, than I am to do my Father's will 
which is in heaven." By what occasion our Saviour saith 
these words, you shall perceive, when you consider the circum- 
stances. I pray you read the chapter ; it is the fourth of 
John. The story is this : he sendeth his disciples to a town 
to buy meat, (where it appeareth that our Saviour had 
money ;) after their departure he setteth him down, which 
was a token he was a-weary, and I warrant you he had 
never a cushion to lay under him. Now as he was sitting so, 
there cometh a woman out of the town to fetch water ; he 
desired her to give him drink. She made answer, " Will 
you drink with me which am a Samaritan ? " So they went 
forward in their talk. At the length he bade her go call 
her husband. She made answer, " I have no husband." 
"Thou sayest well," said our Saviour; "for thou hast had 
five, and this that thou hast now is not thy husband." And 
so he revealed himself unto her. Some men, peradventure, 
will say, " What meaneth this, that our Saviour talketh alone 
with this woman ? " Answer : his humility and gentleness is 
shewed therein : for he was content to talk with her, being 
alone, and to teach her the way to heaven. Again, some 
men may learn here, not to be so hasty in their judgments, 
that when they see two persons talk together, to suspect 
them; for in so doing they might suspect our Saviour him- 
self. It is not good, it is against the will of God to judge 
rashly. I know what I mean ; I know what unhappy tales 
be abroad ; but I can do no more but to give you warning. 
Now the woman went her way into the city, making much 
ado, how she had found the Messiah, the Saviour of the 
world ; insomuch that a great many of the Samaritans came 
out unto him. Now as the woman was gone, the disciples 
desired him to eat; he made them answer. Ego alium cibuin 



322 The Fourth Sermon 

habeo, " I have other meat : " then they thought somebody 
had brought him some meat ; at the length he breaketh out 
and saith, Ht'c est cibus mens ut faciam voluntatein Patris 
mei qui inisit me ; " I am as desirous to do my Father's will, 
as you be of meat and drink." Let us now, for God's sake, 
be so desirous to do the will of God, as we be to eat and 
drink. Let us endeavour ourselves to keep his laws and 
commandments : then whatsoever we shall desire of him, he 
will give it unto us, we shall have it. 

We read oftentimes in scripture, that our Saviour was 
preaching according unto his vocation : I would every man 
would go so diligently about his business. The priests to go 
to their books, not to spend their times so shamefully in 
hawking, hunting, and keeping of ale-houses. If they would 
go to their books, in so doing they should do the will of God : 
but the most part of them do their own will, they take their 
pleasure : but God will find them out at length ; he will mete 
with them when he seeth his time. On a time when our 
Saviour was preaching, his mother came unto him, very de- 
sirous to speak with him, insomuch that she made means to 
speak with him, interrupting his sermon, which was not good 
manners. Therefore, after St Augustine and St Chrysos- 
tom's mind, she was pricked a little with vain-glory ; she 
would have been known to be his mother, else she would not 
have been so hasty to speak with him. And here you may 
perceive that we gave her too much, thinking her to be with- 
out any sparkle of sin : which was too much : for no man born 
into this world is without sin, save Christ only. The school 
doctors say she was arrogant. One came and told our Sa- 
viour, as he was teaching : " Sir, thy mother is here, and would 
speak with thee." He made answer, like as he did when he 
was but twelve years old, Oportet me esse, " I must be : " so 
he saith now, stretching out his hands, " Who is my mother ? " 
Qui facit volujitatem Fatris mei qui est in coelis, " He that 
doth the will of my Father that is in heaven." Luke saith, 
Qui audit verbum Dei et facit istud, " He that heareth the 
word of God, and doth it." Mark this well ; he saith, "and 
doth it." Let us do ; let us not only be hearers but doers ; 
then we shall be, according to his promise, his brethren and 
sisters. We must hear his word, and do it : for truly, if 
Mary his mother had not heard his word and believed it, she 
should never have been saved. For she was not saved because 
she was his natural mother, but because she believed in him ; 



On the Lord's Prayer 323 

because she was his spiritual mother. Remember therefore, 
that all that do his will are his kinsfolk. But remember that 
in another place he saith, Non omnes qui dicurit mihi, Do- 
mine, Bomine, introibunt ; " Not all that say, Lord, Lord, 
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven." Here you see that 
the matter standeth not in saying, but in doing : do his will, 
and then resort unto him, and thou shall be welcome. We 
read in Luke, where our Saviour said, Servus qui noscit 
voluntatem domini, et non facit, vapulabit multis ; " That 
servant that knoweth the will of his master, and doth it not, 
shall be beaten with many stripes." He that knoweth not 
shall be beaten, but not so much. We must first know, and 
then do. It is a good thing to know ; but it is a heinous 
thing to know, and not to do : it is a great sin to slander 
God's word with wicked living, as it is commonly seen amongst 
men. But this fault, if it be not amended, shall have grievous 
punishment. 

Now, some men will say, " Seeing it is so, that those 
which know God's word, and do not the same, shall be beaten 
with many stripes ; then I will keep me from it, and so when 
I am damned I shall have the easier punishment." No, no, 
my friend : Ignorantia fion excusat, prcEsertim voluntaria et 
affectata ; " Wilful ignorance excuseth not." To say, " I will 
not hear it, for I intend to do as it shall please me ; " this is 
not ignorance, brother, but rather contumacy, or despising of 
God's word. These which would fain know, but cannot, for 
that they have no teacher, they shall be excused somewhat, 
for they shall have easier pain than the others have ; as he 
saith, VcB tibi, Chorazifi, quia si in Sodoma, " Wo unto thee, 
Chorazin, because if in Sodom," &c. ; meaning that the Sodom- 
ites shall have easier judgment than the other : but as for 
those which refuse to hear when they might hear, they are 
in an ill case, and shall be punished with unspeakable pains. 
And I tell you, the very ignorant man is not all excused ; for 
so saith God by his prophets, Si non annuriciaveris ut con- 
vertatur a via sua mala, impius ifi iniquitate sua morietur ; 
" The wicked," saith he, "shall die, though he hath had never 
warning before." So we see that ignorance excuseth not : 
but the ignorant are the less punished because of their igno- 
rance ; as there be degrees in hell, one shall be punished 
more grievously than the other, according to their deserts. 
There be some men in England which say, " No," say they, 
" I will hear none of them all, till they agree amongst them- 



324 The Fourth Sermon 

selves." Such fellows truly shall never come to the gospel : 
for there will be contentions as long as the devil is alive. 
He cannot suffer God's word to be spread abroad ; therefore 
he doth, and will do till the world's end, what he can to let 
the word of God. Then it is like that those fellows shall 
never come to hear God's word, and therefore worthily be 
damned as despisers of God's most holy word. 

Further, this petition hath an addition, Que?nadmodum 
in coelo ; " As it is in heaven." The writers make two man- 
ner of heavens; a spiritual heaven, and a temporal heaven. 
The spiritual heaven is where God's will is fully done ; where 
the angels be, which do the will and pleasure of God with- 
out dilation. Now, when we say, "As it is in heaven," we 
pray God that we may do his will as perfectly as the angels 
do. Ensamples in scripture we have many, which teach us 
the diligent service which the angels do unto the Lord. When 
king David fell in a presumption, so that he commanded his 
captain Joab to number his people, (which thing was against 
the Lord, and Joab did naughtily in obeying the king in 
such things, but he went and numbered eight hundred thou- 
sand, and five hundred thousand men able to fight, beside 
women and children,) for this act God was angry with David, 
and sent his prophet, which told him that God would plague 
him ; and bade him to choose whether he would have seven 
years' hunger, or that his enemies should prevail against him 
three months long, or to have three days' pestilence. He 
made answer, saying, " It is better to fall into the hands of 
God, than of men : " and so chose pestilence. After that, 
within three days died threescore and ten thousand. This 
story is a great declaration how angry God is with sin. 
Now David, that good king, seeing the plague of God over 
the people, said unto God, " Lord, it is not they that have 
sinned, it is I myself: punish me, and let them alone." This 
was a good mind in David ; there be but few kings now that 
would do so. Now at the length God was moved with pity, 
and said unto the angel, Sufficit, confine manum ; " It is 
enough, leave off." By and by the plague ceased. Where 
you see how ready the angels of God be to do the Lord's 
commandment. After that David was minded to be thankful 
unto God, and offer a great sacrifice unto him, and so remove 
the wrath of God : and therefore he made suit to one of his 
subjects for certain grounds to build an altar upon. The same 
man was willing to give it unto the king freely ; but David 



On the Lord's Prayer 325 

would not take it at his hands. Where kings may learn, that 
it is not lawful for them to take away other men's lands to 
their own use. This good king, David, would not take it 
when it was offered unto him. He did not as Achab, the 
wicked man, which did Naboth wrong in taking away his 
vineyard against his will. Another ensample, wherein ap- 
peareth how diligently the angels do God's commandments. 
Senacherib, king of the Assyrians, having a captain called 
Rabsacus ; which captain, after he had besieged Jerusalem, 
spake blasphemous words against God the Almighty, saying 
to the Jews, " Think you that your God is able to help you, 
or to defend you from my hand ? " Now Ezechias, that good 
king, hearing such blasphemous words to be spoken against 
God, fell to prayer ; desired God for aid ; sent for the 
prophet Esay, and asked him counsel. The end was, God 
sent his angels, which killed an hundred eighty and five 
thousand of the Assyrians in one night : the king himself 
scant escaped, and with great danger and fear gat him home. 
Here you see what a God our God is, whose will we ought 
to do. Therefore let us endeavour ourselves to do his will 
and pleasure ; and when we are not able to do it, as we be 
not indeed, let us call unto him for help and aid. 

The other heaven is called a corporal heaven, where the 
sun and the moon and the stars are ; which heaven doth 
God's commandment too. As it appeareth in the books of 
Joshua, and the Kings, how the sun stood at the command- 
ment of God : also, how the shadow went backward ; like as 
Job saith, Prcecepisti soli, et non oritur, "Thou gavest com- 
mandment to the sun, and it arose not." Therefore at the 
commandment of God they kept their ordinary course, as 
God hath commanded them in the first beginning. Also 
the rain and the snow come at his commandment. Finally, 
nothing rebelleth in his estate wherein it was set at the first, 
but man. The man will not be ruled by him, all other things 
be obedient : rain cometh when God will have it, and snow 
at his time. We read in Achab's time, that Elias the prophet 
stopt the rain for three years and six months, for to punish 
the people ; whereof followed a great dearth. Afterward, at 
the request of the same Elias, God sent rain, which tem- 
pered the ground to bring fruits. I think there be some Elias 
abroad at this time, which stoppeth the rain, we have not 
had rain a good while. Therefore let us pray to God that we 
may do his will, and then we shall have all things necessary 



326 Fourth Sermon on the Lord's Prayer 

to soul and body. For what was this Elias ? Obnoxius 
affedibus, " A sinful man, born and conceived in sin : " yet 
God, seeing his confidence, granted his requests. For he was 
a man that feared the Lord, and trusted in him ; therefore 
God loved him, and heard his prayer. Therefore, I say, let 
us do as he did ; then God will hear our prayers. But we 
are fleshly, we are carnal, we can do nothing perfectly, as we 
ought to do : wherefore we have need to say with St Augus- 
tine, Domine, fac qucB prczcipis, et prcEcipe quod vis ; " Lord, 
do thou with me what thou commandest, and then command 
what thou wilt." For we of our own strength and power 
are not able to do his commandments ; but that lack our 
Saviour will supply with his fulfilling, and with his perfect- 
ness he will take away our imperfectness. 

Now since we have spoken much of prayer, I will desire 
you let us pray together, and so make an end : but you 
must pray with a penitent heart ; for God will not hear the 
prayer that proceedeth from an impenitent heart ; it is abo- 
minable in his sight. I desire you to say after me, " Our 
Father," &c. Amen. 



SERMONS ON THE LORD'S PRAYER 

The Fifth Sermon upon the Lord's Prayer. 

Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie. — Matt. vi. II. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 

This is a very good prayer, if a body should say no 
more at one time, but that ; for as we see our need, so we 
shall pray. ■)When we see God's name to be dishonoured, 
blasphemed and ill spoken of, then a man, a faithful man, 
should say, " Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be 
thy name." When we see the devil reign, and all the world 
follow his kingdom, then we may say, " Our Father, which 
art in heaven, thy kingdom come." When we see that the 
world followeth her own desires and lusts, and not God's will 
and his commandments, and it grieveth us to see this, we be 
sorry for it ; we shall make our moan unto God for it, saying, 
"Our Father, which art in heaven. Fiat voluntas tua, Thy 
will be done." When we lack necessaries for the maintenance 
of this life, every thing is dear, then we may say, "Our 
Father, which art in heaven, give us this day our daily 
bread." Therefore as we see cause, so we should pray. 
And it is better to say one of these short prayers with 
a good faith, than the whole psalter without faith. 

By this now that I have said, you may perceive that the 
common opinion and estimation which the people have had of 
this prayer (the Lord's prayer, I say) is far from that that it 
is indeed. i?or it was esteemed for nothing : for when we be 
disposed to despise a man, and call him an ignorant fool, we 
say, " He cannot say his Fater-noster ; " and so we made it 
a light matter, as though every man knew it. But I tell 
you, it is a great matter; it containeth weighty things, if it 
be weighed to the very bottom, as a learned man could do. 
But as for me, that that I have learned out of the holy scrip- 
ture and learned men's books, which expound the same, 
I will shew unto you : but I intend to be short. ' I have 

327 



328 



The Fifth Sermon 



been very long before in the other petitions, which something 
expound those that follow : therefore I will not tarry so long 
in them as I have done in the other. 

" Give us this day our daily bread." Every word is to 
be considered, for they have their importance. This word 
" bread " signifieth all manner of sustenance for the preserva- 
tion of this life ; all things whereby man should live are 
contained in this word " bread." You must remember what 
I said by that petition, " Hallowed be thy name." There we 
pray unto God that he will give us grace to live so that 
we may, with all our conversations and doings, hallow and 
sanctify him, according as his word telleth us. Now foras- 
much as the preaching of God's word is most necessary to 
bring us into this hallowing, we pray in the same petition for 
the office of preaching. For the sanctifying of the name 
of God cannot be, except the office of preaching be maintained, 
and his word be preached and known : therefore in the same 
petition, when I say, Sanctificetur, " Hallowed be thy name," 
I pray that his word may be spread abroad and known, 
through which cometh sanctifying. So likewise in this peti- 
tion, " Give us this day our daily bread," we pray for all 
those things which be necessary and requisite to the suste- 
nance of our souls and bodies. Now the first and principal 
thing that we have need of in this life is the magistrates : 
without a magistrate we should never live well and quietly. 
Then it is necessary and most needful to pray unto God 
for them, that the people may have rest, and apply their 
business, every man in his calling ; the husbandman in tilling 
and ploughing, the artificer in his business. For you must 
ever consider, that where war is, there be all discommodities ; 
no man can do his duty according unto his calling, as appear- 
eth now in Germany, the Emperor and the French king 
being at controversy, I warrant you, there is little rest or 
quietness. Therefore in this petition we pray unto God for 
our magistrates, that they may rule and govern this realm 
well and godly ; and keep us from invasions of alienates and 
strangers ; and to execute justice, and punish malefactors : and 
this is so requisite, that we cannot live without it. Therefore 
when we say, " Give us this day our daily bread ; " we pray 
for the king, his counsellors, and all his officers. But not 
every man that saith these words understandeth so much ; 
for it is obscurely included, so that none perceive it but 
those which earnestly and diligently consider the same. But 



On the Lord's Prayer 329 

St Paul he expresseth it with more words plainly, saying, " I 
exhort you to make supplications and prayers for all men, 
but specially pro regibus et qui in sublimitate constituti 
sunt, for the kings, and for those which be aloft." Whereto? 
Ut placidam et quietam vitani agajnus, "That we may live 
godly and quietly, in all honesty and godliness." And when 
I pray for them, I pray for myself : for I pray for them 
that they may rule so, that I and all men may live quietly 
and at rest. And to this end we desire a quiet life, that 
we may the better serve God, hear his word, and live after 
it. For in the rebels' time, I pray you, what godliness was 
shewed amongst them ? They went so far, as it was told, 
that they defiled other men's wives : what godliness was this ? 
In what estate, think you, were those faithful subjects which 
at the same time were amongst them ? They had sorrow 
enough, I warrant you. So it appeareth, that where war is, 
there is right godliness banished and gone. Therefore to 
pray for a quiet life, that is as much as to pray for a godly 
life, that we may serve God in our calling, and get our livings 
uprightly. So it appeareth, that praying for magistrates is 
as much as to pray for ourselves. 

They that be children, and live under the rule of their 
parents, or have tutors, they pray in this petition for their 
parents and tutors ; for they be necessary for their bringing 
up : and God will accept their prayer, as well as theirs which 
be of age. For God hath no respect of persons ; he is as 
ready to hear the youngest as the oldest : therefore let them 
be brought up in godliness, let them know God. Let parents 
and tutors do their duties to bring them up so, that as soon 
as their age serveth, they may taste and savour God ; let 
them fear God in the beginning, and so they shall do also 
when they be old. Because I speak here of orphans, I shall 
exhort you to be pitiful unto them ; for it is a thing that 
pleaseth God, as St James witnesseth, saying, Religio piira, 
&c., "Pure religion." 

It is a common speech amongst the people, and much 
used, that they say, " All religious houses are pulled down : " 
which is a very peevish saying, and not true, for they are 
not pulled down. That man and that woman that live to- 
gether godly and quietly, doing the works of their vocation, 
and fear God, hear his word and keep it ; that same is a 
religious house, that is, that house that pleaseth God. For 
religion, pure religion, I say, standeth not in wearing of a 



330 The Fifth Sermon 

monk's cowl, but in righteousness, justice, and well-doing, and, 
as St James saith, in visiting the orphans, and widows that 
lack their husbands, orphans, that lack their parents ; to help 
them when they be poor, to speak for them when they be 
oppressed : herein standeth true religion, God's religion, I say : 
the other which was used was an unreligious life, yea, rather 
an hypocrisy. There is a text in scripture, I never read it 
but I remember these religious houses : Estque recta homini 
via, cujus tamen postremum iter est ad mortem; "There 
is a way, which way seemeth to men to be good, whose end 
is eternal perdition." When the end is naught, all is naught. 
So were these monks' houses, these religious houses. There 
were many people, specially widows, which would give over 
house-keeping, and go to such houses, when they might have 
done much good in maintaining of servants, and relieving of 
poor people ; but they went their ways. What a madness 
was that ! Again, how much cause we have to thank God, 
that we know what is true religion ; that God hath revealed 
unto us the deceitfulness of those monks, which had a goodly 
shew before the world of great holiness, but they were naught 
within. Therefore scripture saith. Quod excelsum est homi- 
nibus, abominabile est coram Deo; "That which is highly 
esteemed before men is abominable before God." Therefore 
that man and woman that live in the fear of God are much 
better than their houses were. 

I read once a story of a holy man, (some say it was St 
Anthony,) which had been a long season in the wilderness, 
neither eating nor drinking any thing but bread and water : 
at the length he thought himself so holy, that there should 
be nobody like unto him. Therefore he desired of God to 
know who should be his fellow in heaven. God made him 
answer, and commanded him to go to Alexandria ; there he 
should find a cobler which should be his fellow in heaven. 
Now he went thither and sought him out, and fell in acquaint- 
ance with him, and tarried with him three or four days to see 
his conversation. In the morning his wife and he prayed 
together ; then they went to their business, he in his shop, 
and she about her housewifery. At dinner time they had 
bread and cheese, wherewith they were well content, and 
took it thankfully. Their children were well taught to fear 
God, and to say their Fater-noster, and the Creed, and the 
Ten Commandments ; and so he spent his time in doing his 
duty truly. I warrant you, he did not so many false stitches 



On the Lord's Prayer 331 

as coblers do now-a-days. St Anthony perceiving that, came 
to knowledge of himself, and laid away all pride and pre- 
sumption. By this ensample you may learn, that honest 
conversation and godly living is much regarded before God ; 
insomuch that this poor cobler, doing his duty diligently, 
was made St Anthony's fellow. So it appeareth that we be 
not destituted of religious houses : those which apply their 
business uprightly and hear God's word, they shall be St An- 
thony's fellows ; that is to say, they shall be numbered 
amongst the children of God. 

Further, in this petition the man and wife pray one for 
the other. For one is a help unto the other, and so neces- 
sary the one to the other : therefore they pray one for the 
other, that God will spare them their lives, to live together 
quietly and godly, according to his ordinance and institution; 
and this is good and needful. As for such as be not married, 
you shall know that I do not so much praise marriage, that 
I should think that single life is naught ; as I have heard 
some which will scant allow single life. They think in their 
hearts that all those which be not married be naught : there- 
fore they have a common saying amongst them, " What ! " 
say they, " they be made of such metal as we be made of; " 
thinking them to be naught in their living ; which suspicions 
are damnable afore God : for we know not what gifts God 
hath given unto them ; therefore we cannot with good con- 
science condemn them or judge them. Truth it is, "marriage 
is good and honourable amongst all men," as St Paul witness- 
eth; Et adulteros et fornicatores judicabit Dominus, "And 
the Lord shall and will judge," that is, condemn, "adulterers 
and whoremongers ; " but not those which live in single life. 
When thou livest in lechery, or art a whore, or whoremonger, 
then thou shalt be damned : but when thou livest godly and 
honestly in single life, it is well and allowable afore God ; 
yea, and better than marriage : for St Paul saith, Volo vos 
absque solid tudine esse, " I will have you to be without 
carefulness," that is, unmarried; and sheweth the commodities, 
saying, " they that be unmarried set their minds upon God, 
how to please him, and to live after his commandments. But 
as for the other, the man is careful how to please his wife ; 
and again, the woman how to please her husband." And this 
is St Paul's saying of the one as well as of the other. There- 
fore I will wish you not to condemn single life, but take one 
with the other; like as St Paul teacheth us, not so extol the 



332 The Fifth Sermon 

one, that we should condemn the other. For St Paul praiseth 
as well single life, as marriage ; yea, and more too. For 
those that be single have more liberties to pray and to serve 
God than the other : for they that be married have much 
trouble and afflictions in their bodies. This I speak, because 
i hear that some there be which condemn single life. I would 
have them to know that matrimony is good, godly, and allow- 
able unto all men : yet for all that, the single life ought not 
to be despised or condemned, seeing that scripture alloweth 
it ; yea, and he affirmeth that it is better than matrimony, 
i( it be clean without sin and offence. 

Further, we pray here in this petition for good servants, 
that God will send unto us good, faithful, and trusty servants; 
for they are necessary for this bodily life, that our business 
may be done : and those which live in single life have more 
need of good trusty servants than those which are married. 
Those which are married can better oversee their servants. 
For when the man is from home, at the least the wife over- 
seelh them, and keepeth them in good order. For I tell you, 
servants must be overseen and looked to : if they be not 
overseen, what be they ? It is a great gift of God to have 
a good servant : for the most part of servants are but eye- 
servants ; when their master is gone, they leave off from their 
labour, and play the sluggards : but such servants do contrary 
to God's commandment, and shall be damned in hell for their 
slothfulness, except they repent. Therefore, I say, those that 
be unmarried have more need of good servants than those 
which be married ; for one of them at the least may always 
oversee the family. For, as I told you before, the most part 
of servants be eye-servants ; they be nothing when they be 
not overseen. 

There was once a fellow asked a philosopher a question, 
saying, Quomodo saginatur equus 1 " How is a horse made 
fat ? " The philosopher made answer, saying, Oculo domini, 
"With his master's eye." Not meaning that the horse should 
be fed with his master's eye, but that the master should over- 
see the horse, and take heed to the horse-keeper, that the 
horse might be well fed. For when a man rideth by the way, 
and Cometh to his inn, and giveth unto the hostler his horse 
to walk, and so he himself sitteth at the table and maketh 
good cheer, and forgetteth his horse ; the hostler cometh and 
saith, " Sir, how much bread shall I give unto your horse? " 
He saith, "Give him two-penny worth." I warrant you, this 



On the Lord's Prayer 333 

horse shall never be fat. Therefore a man should not say to 
the hostler, " Go, give him ; " but he should see himself that 
the horse have it. In like manner, those that have servants 
must not only command them what they shall do, but they 
must see that it be done : they must be present, or else it 
shall never be done. One other man asked that same philo- 
sopher this question, saying, " What dung is it that maketh 
a man's land most fruitful in bringing forth much corn ? " 
" Marry," said he. Vestigia domini, " The owner's footsteps." 
Not meaning that the master should come and walk up and 
down, and tread the ground ; but he would have him to come 
and oversee the servants tilling of the ground, commanding 
them to do it diligently, and so to look himself upon their 
work : this shall be the best dung, saith the philosopher. 
Therefore never trust servants, except you may be assured of 
their diligence ; for I tell you truly, I can come no where but 
I hear masters complaining of their servants. I think verily, 
they fear not God, they consider not their duties. Well, I 
will burthen them with this one text of scripture, and then go 
forward in my matters. The prophet Jeremy saith, Male- 
dictus qui facit opus Domini negligenter. Another transla- 
tion hath fraudulenter, but is one in effect : " Cursed be he 
that doth the work of the Lord negligently or fraudulendy," 
take which you will. It is no light matter, that God pro- 
nounceth them to be cursed. But what is " cursed ? " What is 
it ? " Cursed " is as much to say as, " It shall not go well with 
them ; they shall have no luck ; my face shall be against them." 
Is not this a great thing ? Truly, consider it as you list, but 
it is no light matter to be cursed of God, which ruleth heaven 
and earth. And though the prophet speaketh these words 
of warriors going to war, yet it may be spoken of all servants, 
yea, of all estates, but specially of servants; for St Paul saith, 
Domino Christo servitis : " You servants," saith he, " you serve 
the Lord Christ, it is his work." Then, when it is the Lord's 
work, take heed how you do it ; for cursed is he that doth it 
negligently. But where is such a servant as Jacob was to 
Laban ? How painful was he ! How careful for his master's 
profit. Insomuch that when somewhat perished, he restored 
it again of his own. And where is such a servant as Eleazer 
was to Abraham his master ? What a journey had he ! How 
careful he was, and when he came to his journey's end, he 
would neither eat nor drink afore he had done his master's 
message ; so that all his mind was given only to serve his 



334 The Fifth Sermon 

master, and to do according to his commandments : insomuch 
that he would neither eat nor drink till he had done according 
to his master's will ! Much like to our Saviour's saying, 
Cibus meus est ut faciam voluntatem ejus, qui misit me; 
" This is my meat, to do the will of him that sent me." 1 
pray you servants, mark this Eleazer well ; consider all the 
circumstances of his diligent and faithful service, and follow 
it : else if you follow it not you read it to your own con- 
demnation. Likewise consider the true service which Joseph, 
that young man, did unto his master Potiphar, lieutenant of 
the Tower; how faithfully he served, without any guile or 
fraud : therefore God promoted him so, that he was made 
afterwards the ruler over all Egypt. Likewise consider how 
faithful Daniel was in serving king Darius. Alack, that you 
servants be stubborn-hearted, and will not consider this ! You 
will not remember that your service is the work of the Lord ; 
you will not consider that the curse of God hangeth upon 
your heads for your slothfulness and negligence. Take heed, 
therefore, and look to your duties. 

Now, further : whosoever prayeth this prayer with a 
good faithful heart, as he ought to do, he prayeth for all 
ploughmen and husbandmen, that God will prosper and 
increase their labour; for except he give the increase, all 
their labour and travail is lost. Therefore it is needful to 
pray for them, that God may send his benediction by their 
labour ; for without corn and such manner of sustenance we 
cannot live. And in that prayer we include all artificers ; 
for by their labours God giveth us many commodities which 
we could not lack. We pray also for wholesome air. Item, 
we pray for seasonable weather. When we have too much 
rain, we pray for fair weather : again, when we lack rain, 
we pray that God will send rain. And in that prayer we 
pray for our cattle, that God will preserve them to our use 
from all diseases : for without cattle we cannot live ; we 
cannot till the ground, nor have meat : therefore we include 
them in our prayer too. 

So you see that this prayer containeth innumerable things. 
For we pray for all such things as be expedient and needful 
for the preservation of this life. And not alone this, but we 
have here good doctrine and admonitions besides. For here 
we be admonished of the liberality of God our heavenly 
Father, which he sheweth daily over us. For our Saviour, 
knowing the liberality of God our heavenly Father, com- 



On the Lord's Prayer 335 

mandeth us to pray. If he would not give us the things 
we ask, Christ would not have commanded us to pray. If 
he had borne, an ill will against us, Christ would not have 
sent us to him. But our Saviour, knowing his liberal heart 
towards us, commandeth us to pray, and desire all things 
at his hands. 

And here we be admonished of our estate and condition, 
what we be, namely, beggars. For we ask bread : of whom ? 
Marry, of God. What are we then ? Marry, beggars : 
the greatest lords and ladies in England are but beggars 
afore God. Seeing then that we all are but beggars, why 
should we then disdain and despise poor men ? Let us there- 
fore consider that we be but beggars ; let us pull down our 
stomachs. For if we consider the matter well, we are like 
as they be afore God : for St Paul saith, Quid habes quod 
non accepisti 1 " What hast thou that thou hast not received 
of God ? " Thou art but a beggar, whatsoever thou art : and 
though there be some very rich, and have great abundance, 
of whom have they it ? Of God. • What saith he, that rich 
man ? He saith, " Our Father, which art in heaven, give us 
this day our daily bread : " then he is a beggar afore God 
as well as the poorest man. Further, how continueth the 
rich man in his riches ? Who made him rich ? Marry, God. 
For it is written, Benedidio Dei facit divitem ; "The bless- 
ing of God maketh rich." Except God bless, it standeth to 
no effect : for it is written, Comedent et no?i saturabuntur ; 
"They shall eat, but yet never be satisfied." Eat as much 
as you will, except God feed you, you shall never be full. 
So likewise, as rich as a man is, yet he cannot augment his 
riches, nor keep that he hath, except God be with him, 
except he bless him. Therefore let us not be proud, for we 
be beggars the best of us. 

Note here, that our Saviour biddeth us to say, " us." 
This " us " lappeth in all other men with my prayer ; for 
every one of us prayeth for another. When I say, "Give 
us this day our daily bread," I pray not for myself only, 
if I ask as he biddeth me ; but I pray for all others. Where- 
fore say I not, " Our Father, give me this day my daily 
bread ? " For because God is not my God alone, he is a 
common God. And here we be admonished to be friendly, 
loving, and charitable one to another : for what God giveth, 
I cannot say, "This is my own ;" but I must say, "This is 
ours." For the rich man cannot say, " This is mine alone. 



336 



The Fifth Sermon 



God hath given it unto me for my own use." Nor yet hath 
the poor man any title unto it, to take it away from him. 
No, the poor man may not do so ; for when he doth so, he 
is a thief afore God and man. But yet the poor man hath 
title to the rich man's goods ; so that the rich man ought to 
let the poor man have part of his riches to help and to 
comfort him withal. Therefore when God sendeth unto me 
much, it is not mine, but ours ; it is not given unto me alone, 
but I must help my poor neighbours withal. 

But here I must ask you rich men a question. How 
chanceth it you have your riches ? " We have them of God," 
you will say. But by what means have you them ? "By 
prayer," you will say. "We pray for them unto God, and 
he giveth us the same." Very well. But I pray you tell 
me, what do other men which are not rich ? Pray they not 
as well as you do? "Yes," you must say; for you cannot 
deny it. Then it appeareth that you have your riches not 
through your own prayers only, but other men help you to 
pray for them : for they say as well, " Our Father, give 
us this day our daily bread," as you do ; and peradventure 
they be better than you be, and God heareth their prayer 
sooner than yours. And so it appeareth most manifestly, 
that you obtain your riches of God, not only through your 
own prayer, but through other men's too : other men help 
you to get them at God's hand. Then it followeth, that 
seeing you get not your riches alone through your own 
prayer, but through the poor man's prayer, it is meet that 
the poor man should have part of them ; and you ought to 
relieve his necessity and poverty. But what meaneth God 
by this inequality, that he giveth to some an hundred pound ; 
unto this man five thousand pound ; unto this man in a 
manner nothing at all ? What meaneth he by this inequality? 
Here he meaneth, that the rich ought to distribute his riches 
abroad amongst the poor : for the rich man is but God's 
officer, God's treasurer : he ought to distribute them accord- 
ing unto his Lord God's commandment. If every man were 
rich, then no man would do any thing . therefore God 
maketh some rich and some poor. Again ; that the rich 
may have where to exercise his charity, God made some 
rich and some poor : the poor he sendeth unto the rich to 
desire of him in God's name help and aid. Therefore, you 
rich men, when there cometh a poor man unto you, desiring 
your help, think none otherwise but that God hath sent 



On the Lord's Prayer 337 

him unto you ; and remember that thy riches be not thy 
own, but thou art but a steward over them. If thou wilti 
not do it, then cometh in St John, which saith : " He that 
hath the substance of this world, and seeth his brother lack^ 
and helpeth him not, how remaineth the love of God in 
him ? " He speaketh not of them that have it not, but of 
them that have it : that same man loveth not God, if he 
help not his neighbour, having wherewith to do it. This is 
a sore and hard word. There be many which say with 
their mouth, they love God : and if a man should ask here 
this multitude, whether they love God or no ; they would say, 
" Yes, God forbid else ! " But if you consider their unmerci- 
fulness unto the poor, you shall see, as St John said, "the 
love of God is not within them." Therefore,, you rich men,, 
ever consider of whom you have your riches : be it a 
thousand pound, yet you fetch it out of this petition. For 
this petition, " Give us this day our daily bread," is God's- 
store-house, God's treasure-house : here lieth. all his provi- 
sion, and here you fetch it. But ever have in remembrance 
that this is a common prayer : a poor man prayeth as well! 
as thou, and peradventure God sendeth this riches unto thee 
for another man's prayers' sake, which prayeth for thee,, 
whose prayer is more effectual than thine own. And there- 
fore you ought to be thankful unto other men, which pray 
for you unto God, and help you to obtain your riches. 
Again, this petition is a remedy against this wicked care- 
fulness of men, when they seek how to live, and how to get 
their livings, in such wise, like as if there were no God at 
all. And then there be some which will not labour as God 
hath appointed unto them ; but rather give them to false- 
hood ; to sell false ware, and deceive their neighbours ; or 
to steal other men's sheep or conies : those fellows are far 
wide. Let them come to God's treasure-house, that is tO' 
say, let them come to God and call upon him with a good 
faith, saying, '* Our Father, give us this day our daily 
bread ; " truly God will hear them. For this is the only 
remedy that we have here on earth, to come to his treasure- 
house, and fetch there such things as we lack. Consider 
this word " daily." God promiseth us to feed us daily. If 
ye believe this, why use you then falsehood and deceit ? 
Therefore, good people, leave your falsehood ; get you rather 
to this treasure-house ; then you may be sure of a living : 
for God hath determined that all that come unto him.. 



338 



The Fifth Sermon 



desiring his help, they shall be holpen ; God will not forget 
them. But our unbelief is so great, we will not come unto 
him : we will rather go about to get our living with falsehood, 
than desire the same of him. 

what falsehood is used in England, yea, in the whole 
world ! It were no marvel if the 6re from heaven fell upon 
us, like as it did upon the Sodomites, only for our false- 
hood's sake ! I will tell you of a false practice that was 
practised in my country where I dwell. But I will not tell 
it you to teach you to do the same, but rather to abhor it : 
for those which use such deceitfulness shall be damned world 
without end, except they repent. I have known some that 
had a barren cow : they would fain have had a great deal of 
money for her ; therefore they go and take a calf of another 
cow, and put it to this barren cow, and so come to the 
market, pretending that this cow hath brought that calf; and 
so they sell their barren cow six or eight shillings dearer 
than they should have done else. The man which bought 
the cow Cometh home : peradventure he hath a many of 
children, and hath no more cattle but this cow, and thinketh 
he shall have some milk for his children ; but when all things 
cometh to pass, this is a barren cow, and so this poor man is 
deceived. The other fellow, which sold the cow, thinketh 
himself a jolly fellow and a wise merchant ; and he is called 
one that can make shift for himself But I tell thee, whoso- 
ever thou art, do so if thou lust, thou shalt do it of this 
price, — thou shalt go to the devil, and there be hanged on the 
fiery gallows world without end : and thou art as very a thief 
as when thou takest a man's purse from him going by the 
way, and thou sinnest as well against this commandment, 
Non fades furtum, " Thou shalt do no theft." But these 
fellows commonly, which use such deceitfulness and guiles, can 
speak so finely, that a man would think butter should scant 
melt in their mouths 

1 tell you one other falsehood. I know that some husband 
men go to the market with a quarter of corn : now they 
would fain sell dear the worst as well as the best ; therefore 
they use this policy : they go and put a strike ^ of fine malt 
or corn in the bottom of the sack, then they put two strikes 
of the worst they had ; then a good strike aloft in the sack's 
mouth, and so they come to the market. Now there cometh 

-a buyer, asking, " Sir, is this good malt ? " "I warrant you," 

' a bushel. 



On the Lord's Prayer 339 

saith he, " there is no better in this town." And so he 
selleth all his malt or corn for the best, when there be but 
two strikes of the best in his sack. The man that buyeth it 
thinketh he hath good malt, he cometh home : when he 
putteth the malt out of the sack, the strike which was in the 
bottom covereth the ill malt which was in the midst ; and 
so the good man shall never perceive the fraud, till he cometh 
to the occupying of the corn. The other man that sold it 
taketh this for a policy : but it is theft afore God, and he 
is bound to make restitution of so much as those two strikes 
which were naught were sold too dear ; so much he ought to 
restore, or else he shall never come to heaven, if God be true 
in his word. 

I could tell you of one other falsehood, how they make 
wool to weigh much : but I will not tell it you. If you learn 
to do those falsehoods whereof I have told you now, then 
take the sauce with it, namely, that you shall never see the 
bliss of heaven, but be damned world without end, with the 
devil and all his angels. Now go when it please you, use 
falsehood. But I pray you, wherefore will you deceive your 
neighbour, whom you ought to love as well as your own 
self? Consider the matter, good people, what a dangerous 
thing it is to fall into the hands of the ever-living God. 
Leave falsehood : abhor it. Be true and faithful in your 
calling. Quarite regnum Dei, et justitiam ejus, et cetera omnia 
adjicientur vobis : " Seek the kingdom of God, and the 
righteousness thereof, then all things necessary for you shall 
come unto you unlooked for." 

Therefore in this petition, note first God's goodness, 
how gentle he is towards us ; insomuch that he would have 
us to come unto him and take of him all things. Then again, 
note what we be, namely, beggars, for we beg of him ; which 
admonisheth us to leave stoutness and proudness, and to be 
humble. Note what is, " our ; " namely, that one prayeth for 
another, and that this storehouse is common unto all men. 
Note again, what we be when we be false ; — the children of 
the devil, and enemies unto God. 

There be some men which would have this petition not to 
import or contain these bodily things, as things which be 
too vile to be desired at God's hand ; therefore they expound 
it altogether spiritually, of things pertaining unto the soul 
only : which opinion, truly, I do not greatly like. For shall 
I trust God for my soul, and shall I not trust him for my 



340 The Fifth Sermon 

body ? Therefore I take it, that all things necessary to soul 
and body are contained in this petition : and we ought to seek 
all things necessary to our bodily food only in this storehouse. 

But you must not take my sayings after such sort, as 
though you should do nothing but sit and pray ; and yet you 
should have your dinner and supper made ready for you. 
No, not so : but you must labour, you must do the work of 
your vocation. Qiicerite regnum Dei, "Seek the kingdom of 
heaven : " you must set those two things together, works and 
prayer. He that is true in his vocation, doing according as 
God willeth him to do, and then prayeth unto God, that 
man or woman may be assured of their living ; as sure, I 
say, as God is God. As for the wicked, indeed God of his 
exceeding mercy and liberality findeth them ; and sometimes 
they fare better than the good man doth : but for all that 
the wicked man hath ever an ill conscience ; he doth wrong 
unto God ; he is an usurper, he hath no right unto it. The 
good and godly man he hath right unto it ; for he cometh 
by it lawfully, by his prayer and travail. But these covetous 
men, think ye, say they this prayer with a faithful heart, 
" Our Father, which art in heaven ; Give us this day our 
daily bread ? " Think ye they say it from the bottom of 
their hearts ? No, no ; they do but mock God, they laugh 
him to scorn, when they say these words. For they have 
their bread, their silver and gold in their coffers, in their 
chests, in their bags or budgets ; therefore they have no 
savour of God : else they would shew themselves liberal unto 
their poor neighbours; they would open their chests and 
bags, and lay out and help their brethren in Christ. They be 
as yet but scorners : they say this prayer like as the Turk 
might say it. 

Consider this word, " Give." Certainly, we must labour, 
yet we must not so magnify our labour as though we gat 
our living by it. For labour as long as thou wilt, thou shalt 
have no profit by if, except the Lord increase thy labour. 
Therefore we must thank him for it ; he doth it ; he giveth it. 
To whom ? Laboranti et poscenti, " Unto him that laboureth 
and prayeth." That man that is so disposed shall not lack, 
as he saith, Dabit Spiritutn Sanctum poscentibus illurn ; "^He 
will give the Holy Ghost unto them that desire the same." 
Then, we must ask ; for he giveth not to sluggards. Indeed^ 
they have his benefits ; they live wealthily : but,, as I told 
you afore, they have it with an ill conscience,, not lawfully. 



On the Lord's Prayer 341 

Therefore Christ saith, Solem suum oriri sinit super justos 
et injustos ; " He suffers his sun to rise upon the just and 
unjust" Also, Nemo scit an odio vel afnore sit dignus ; " We 
cannot tell outwardly by these worldly things, which be in 
the favour of God, and which be not ; " for they be common 
unto good and bad : but the wicked have it not with a good 
conscience ; the upright, good man hath his living through 
his labour and faithful prayer. Beware that you trust not 
in your labour, as though ye got your living by it : for, as St 
Paul saith. Qui plantat nihil est, neque qui rigat, sed qui dat 
incrementum Deus ; " Neither he that planteth is aught, nor 
he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase." Except 
God give the increase, all our labour is lost. They that 
be the children of this world, as covetous persons, extortioners, 
oppressors, caterpillars, usurers, think you they come to 
God's storehouse ? No, no, they do not ; they have not the 
understanding of it ; they cannot tell what it meaneth. For 
they look not to get their livings at God's storehouse, but 
rather they think to get it with deceit and falsehood, with 
oppression, and wrong doings. For they think that all 
things be lawful unto them ; therefore they think that though 
they take other men's goods through subtilty and crafts, it 
is no sin. But I tell you, those things -which we buy, or 
get with our labour, or are given us by inheritance, or 
otherways, those things be ours by the law ; which maketh 
nieum and tuum, mine and thine. Now all things gotten 
otherwise are not ours ; as those things which be gotten by 
crafty conveyances, by guile and fraud, by robbery and 
stealing, by extortion and oppression, by hand-making, or 
howsoever you come by it beside the right way, it is not 
yours ; insomuch that you may not give it for God's sake, for 
God hateth it. 

But you will say, " What shall we do with the good 
gotten by unlawful means ? " Marry, I tell thee : make 
restitution ; which is the only way that pleaseth God. O 
Lord, what bribery, falsehood, deceiving, false getting of 
goods is in England ! And yet for all that, we hear nothing 
of restitution ; which is a miserable thing. I tell you, none 
of them which have taken their neighbour's goods from him 
by any manner of falsehood, none of them, I say, shall be 
saved, except they make restitution, either in affect or effect ; 
in effect, when they be able; in affect when they be not 
able in no wise. Ezekiel saith. Si impius egerit pcenitentiam, 



342 The Fifth Sermon 

et rapinam reddiderit ; "When the ungodly doth repent, and 
restoreth the goods gotten wrongfully and unlawfully," For 
unlawful goods ought to be restored again : without restitu- 
tion look not for salvation. AJso, this is a true sentence 
used of St Augustine, Non remittetur peccatum, nisi restituatur 
ablatum ; " Robbery, falsehood, or otherwise ill-gotten goods, 
cannot be forgiven of God, except it be restored again." 
Zacheus, that good publican, that common officer, he gave a 
good ensample unto all bribers and extortioners. I would 
they all would follow his ensample ! He exercised not open 
robbery ; he killed no man by the way ; but with crafts and 
subtilties he deceived the poor. When the poor men came 
to him, he bade them to come again another day ; and so 
delayed the time, till at the length he wearied poor men, 
and so gat somewhat of them. Such fellows are now, in 
our time, very good cheap ; but they will not learn the 
second lesson. They have read the first lesson, how Zachee 
was a bribe-taker ; but they will not read the second : they 
say A, but they will not say B. What is the second lesson ? 
Si quern defraudavi, reddam quadruplum ; " If I have deceived 
any man, I will restore it fourfold." But we may argue 
that they be not such fellows as Zacheus was, for we hear 
nothing of restitution ; they lack right repentance. 

It is a wonderful thing to see, that christian people will 
live in such an estate, wherein they know themselves to be 
damned : for when they go to bed, they go in the name of the 
devil. Finally, whatsoever they do, they do it in his name, 
because they be out of the favour of God. God loveth them 
not ; therefore, I say, it is to be lamented that we hear 
nothing of restitution. St Paul saith, Qui furabatur non 
amplius furetur ; "He that stale, let him steal no more." 
Which words teach us, that he which hath stolen or deceived, 
and keepeih it, he is a strong thief so long till he restore again 
the thing taken ; and shall look for no remission of his sins 
at God's hand, till he hath restored again such goods. There 
be some which say, " Repentance or contrition will serve ; 
it is enough when I am sorry for it." Those fellows cannot 
tell what repentance meaneth. Look upon Zacheus : he did 
repent, but restitution by and by followed. So let us do 
too ; let us live uprightly and godly ; and when we have 
done amiss, or deceived any body, let us make restitution. 
And after, beware of such sins, of such deceitfulness ; but 
rather let us call upon God, and resort to his storehouse, 



On the Lord's Prayer 343 

and labour faithfully and truly for our livings. Whosoever 
is so disposed, him God will favour, and he shall lack 
nothing : as for the other impenitent sluggards, they be 
devourers and usurpers of God's gifts, and therefore shall be 
punished, world without end, in everlasting fire. 

Remember this word " our : " what it meaneth I told you. 
And here I have occasion to speak of the proprieties of things : 
for I fear, if I should leave it so, some of you would report 
me wrongfully, and affirm, that all things should be common. 
I say not so. Certain it is, that God hath ordained pro- 
prieties of things, so that that which is mine is not thine; 
and what thou hast I cannot take from thee. If all things 
were common, there could be no theft, and so this command- 
ment, Non fades furtum, " Thou shalt not steal," were in 
vain. But it is not so : the laws of the realm make meum 
et tuurn, mine and thine. If I have things by those laws, 
then I have them well. But this you must not forget, that 
St Paul saith, Sitis necessitatibus sanctoruin commu7iicantes ; 
,' Relieve the necessity of those which have need." Things 
are not so common, that another man may take my goods 
from me, for this is theft ; but they are so common, that we 
ought to distribute them unto the poor, to help them, and to 
comfort them with it. We ought one to help another ; for 
this is a standing sentence : Qui habuerit substantiam hujus 
mundi, et viderit fratrem suum necessitatem habere^ et clauserit 
viscera sua ab eo, quomodo caritas Dei manet in eo7 " He 
that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his 
brother to have need, and shutteth up his entire affection 
from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him ? " There 
was a certain manner of having things in common in the 
time of the apostles. For some good men, as Barnabas was, 
sold their lands and possessions, and brought the money unto 
the apostles : but that was done for this cause, — there was 
a great many of christian people at that time entreated very 
ill, insomuch that they left all their goods : now, such folic 
came unto the apostles for aid and help ; therefore those 
which were faithful men, seeing the poverty of their brethren, 
went and sold that that they had, and spent the money 
amongst such poor which were newly made Christians. 
Amongst others which sold their goods there was one Ana- 
nias and Saphira his wife, two very subtile persons : they went 
and sold their goods too ; but they played a wise part : they 
would not stand in danger of the losing of all their goods ; 



344 The Fifth Sermon 

therefore they agreed together, and took the one part from 
the money, and laid it up ; with the other part they came 
to Peter, affirming that to be the whole money. For they 
thought in their hearts, like as all unfaithful men do, " We 
cannot tell how long this religion shall abide ; it is good to 
be wise, and keep somewhat in store, whatsoever shall happen." 
Now Peter, knowing by the Holy Ghost their falsehood, first 
slew him with one word, and after her too : which indeed is 
a fearful ensample, whereby we should be monished to be- 
ware of lies and falsehood. For though God punish thee 
not by and by, as he did this Ananias, yet he shall find thee ; 
surely he will not forget thee. Therefore learn here to take 
heed of falsehood, and beware of lies. For this Ananias, this 
wilful Ananias, I say, because of this wilful he, went to hell 
with his wife, and there shall be punished world without 
end. "Where you see what a thing it is to make a lie. This 
Ananias needed not to sell his lands, he had no such com- 
mandment : but seeing he did so, and then came and brought 
but half the price, making a pretence as though he had 
brought all, for that he was punished so grievously. O what 
lies are made now-a-days in England, here and there in the 
markets ! truly it is a pitiful thing that we nothing consider 
it. This one ensample of Ananias and Saphira, their punish- 
ment, is able to condemn the whole world. 

You have heard now, how men had things in common 
in the first church : but St Paul he teacheth us how things 
ought to be in common amongst us, saying, Siiis necessita- 
tibus sanctorum communicantes ; " Help the necessity of those 
which be poor." Our good is not so ours that we may do 
with it what us listeth ; but we ought to distribute it unto 
them which have need. No man, as I told you before, 
ought to take away my goods from me ; but I ought to 
distribute that that I may spare, and help the poor withal. 
Communicantes ftecessitatibus, saith St Paul ; " Distribute 
them unto the poor," let them lack nothing ; but help them 
with such things as you may spare. For so it is written, 
Cui plus datum est, plus requiretur ab illo ; " He that hath 
much, must make account for much ; and if he have not spent 
it well, he must make the heavier account." But I speak 
not this to let poor folks from labour ; for we must labour 
and do the works of our vocation, every one in his calling : 
for so it is written, Labores manuum tuarum manducabis, et 
bene tibi erit, "Thou shalt eat thy hand-labour, and it shall 



On the Lord's Prayer 345 

go well with thee." That is to say, every man shall work 
for his living, and shall not be a sluggard, as a great many 
be : every man shall labour and pray ; then God will send 
him his living. St Paul saith, Qiii non laborat, non comedat ; 
" He that laboureth not, let him not eat." Therefore those 
lubbers which will not labour, and might labour, it is a good 
thing to punish them according unto the king's most godly 
statutes. For God himself saith, In sudore vultus tut vesceris 
pane tuo ; " In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat thy bread." 
Then cometh in St Paul, who saith, Magis autem laboret, ut 
det indigentibus ; "Let him labour the sorer, that he may 
have wherewith to help the poor." And Christ himself saith, 
Melius est dare quam accipere ; "It is better to give than 
to take." So Christ, and all his apostles, yea, the whole 
scripture admonisheth us ever of our neighbour, to take heed 
of him, to be pitiful unto him : but God knoweth there be a 
great many which care little for their neighbours. They do 
like as Cain did, when God asked him, " Cain, where is thy 
brother Abel?" "What," saith he, "am I my brother's 
keeper?" So these rich franklings,^ these covetous fellows, 
they scrape all to themselves, they think they should care 
for nobody else but for themselves : God commandeth the 
poor man to labour the sorer, to the end that he may be able 
to help his poor neighbour : how much more ought the rich 
to be liberal unto them ! 

But you will say, " Here is a marvellous doctrine, which 
commandeth nothing but ' Give, Give : ' if I shall follow this 
doctrine, I shall give so much, that at the length I shall 
have nothing left for myself." These be words of infidelity ; 
he that speaketh such words is a faithless man. And I pray 
you, tell me, have ye heard of any man that came to poverty, 
because he gave unto the poor ? Have you heard tell of such 
a one ? No, I am sure you have not. And I dare lay my 
head to pledge for it, that no man living hath come, or shall 
hereafter come to poverty, because he hath been liberal in 
helping the poor. For God is a true God, and no liar : he 
promiseth us in his word, that we shall have the more by 
giving to the needy. Therefore the way to get is to scatter 
that that you have. Give, and you shall gain. If you ask me, 
" How shall I get riches ?" I make thee this answer : " Scat- 
ter that that thou hast; for giving is gaining." But you must 
take heed, and scatter it according unto God's will and 
' A man above a vassal ; a freeholder. 



346 



The Fifth Sermon 



pleasure; that is, to relieve the poor withal, to scatter it 
amongst the flock of Christ. Whosoever giveth so shall 
surely gain : for Christ saith. Date, et dahitur vobis ; " Give, 
and it shall be given unto you." DaHtur, " it shall be 
given unto you." This is a sweet word, we can well away 
with that ; but how shall we come by it ? Date, " Give." 
This is the way to get, to relieve the poor. Therefore this 
is a false and wicked proposition, to think that with giving 
unto the poor we shall come to poverty. What a giver was 
Loth, that good man : came he to poverty through giving ? 
No, no ; he was a great rich man. Abraham, the father of 
all believers, what a liberal man was he ; insomuch that he 
sat by his door watching when anybody went by the way, 
that he might call him, and relieve his necessity ! What, 
came he to poverty ? No, no : he died a great rich man. 
Therefore let us follow the ensample of Loth and Abraham : 
let us be liberal, and then we shall augment our stock. For 
this is a most certain and true word. Date, et dabitur vobis ; 
" Give, and it shall be given unto you." But we believe it 
not ; we cannot away with it. The most part of us are more 
given to take from the poor, than to relieve their poverty. 
They be so careful for their children, that they cannot tell 
when they be well. They purchase this house and that 
house ; but what saith the prophet ? V(b, qui conjungitis 
domum domui ; " Woe be unto you that join house to house ! " 
the curse of God hangeth over your heads. Christ saith. 
Qui diligit patrem vel matrein vel filios plus quam me non 
est me dignus ; " He that loveth his father or mother or 
children more than me, he is not meet for me." Therefore 
those which scrape and gather ever for their children, and in 
the mean season forget the poor, whom God would have 
relieved ; those, I say, regard their children more than God's 
commandments : for their children must be set up, and the 
poor miserable people is forgotten in the mean season. There 
is a common saying amongst the worldlings, Happy is that 
child whose father goeth to the devil : but this is a worldly 
happiness. The same is seen when the child can begin with 
two hundred pound, whereas his father began with nothing : 
it is a wicked happiness, if the father gat those goods wick- 
edly. And there is no doubt but many a father goeth to 
the devil for his child's sake ; in that he neglected God's 
commandment, scraped for his child, and forgat to relieve his 
poor miserable neighbour. We have in scripture, Qui mise- 



On the Lord's Prayer 347 

retur pauperis^ fceneratur Deo ; " Whosoever hath pity over 
the poor, he lendeth unto God upon usury : " that is to say, 
God will give it unto him again with increase : this is a 
lawful and godly usury. 

Certain it is, that usury was allowed by the laws of this 
realm ; yet it followed not that usury was godly, nor allowed 
before God. For it is not a good argument, to say, " It is 
forbidden to take ten pounds of the hundred, ergo, I may 
take five : " like as a thief cannot say, " It is forbidden in the 
law to steal thirteen-pence half-penny ; ergo, I may steal six- 
pence, or three-pence, or two-pence." No, no ; this reason- 
ing will not serve afore God : for though the law of this 
realm hangeth him not, if he steal four-pence, yet for all 
that he is a thief before God, and shall be hanged on the 
fiery gallows in hell. So he that occupieth usury, though by 
the laws of this realm he might do it without punishment, 
(for the laws are not so precise,) yet for all that he doth 
wickedly in the sight of God. For usury is wicked before 
God, be it small or great ; like as theft is wicked. But I 
will tell you how you shall be usurers to get much gain. 
Give it unto the poor; then God will give it to thee with 
gain. Give twenty pence, and thou shalt have forty pence. 
It shall come again, thou shalt not lose it ; or else God is not 
God. What needeth it to use such deceitfulness and false- 
hood to get riches ? Take a lawful way to get them ; that 
is, to scatter this abroad that thou hast, and then thou shalt 
have it again with great gain : quadruplum, " four times," 
saith scripture. Now God's word saith, that I shall have 
again that which I laid out with usury, with gain. Is it true 
that God saith ? Yes : then let me not think, that giving unto 
the poor doth diminish my stock, when God saith the contrary, 
namely, that it shall increase ; or else we make God a liar. 
For if I believe not his sayings, then by mine infidelity I 
make him a liar, as much as is in me. Therefore learn here 
to commit usury : and specially you rich men, you must 
learn this lesson well ; for of you it is written, " Whosoever 
hath much, must make account for much." And you have 
much, not to that end, to do with it what you lust ; but you 
must spend it as God appointeth you in his word to do : for 
no rich man can say before God, " This is my own." No, he 
is but an officer over it, an almoner, God's treasurer. Our 
Saviour saith, Omnis qui reliquerit agrum, cr'^., centuplum 
accipiet ; "Whosoever shall leave his field, shall receive it 



348 The 'Fifth Sermon 

again an hundred fold." As, if I should be examined now of 
the papists, if they should ask me, " Believe you in the 
mass ? " I say, " No ; according unto God's word, and my 
conscience, it is naught, it is but deceitfulness, it is the devil's 
doctrine." Now I must go to prison, I leave all things 
behind me, wife and children, goods and land, and all my 
friends : I leave them for Christ's sake, in his quarrel. What 
saith our Saviour unto it? Centuplum accipiet ; "I shall have 
an hundred times so much." Now though this be spoken in 
such wise, yet it may be understood of alms-giving too. For 
that man or woman that can find in their hearts for God's 
sake to leave ten shillings or ten pounds, they shall have " an 
hundred-fold again in this life, and in the world to come life 
everlasting." If this will not move our hearts, then they are 
more than stony and flinty ; then our damnation is just and 
well deserved. For to give alms, it is like as when a man 
Cometh unto me, and desireth an empty purse of me : I lend 
him the purse, he cometh by and by and bringeth it full of 
money, and giveth it me ; so that I have now my purse 
again, and the money too. So it is to give alms : we lend 
an empty purse, and take a full purse for it. Therefore let 
us persuade ourselves in our hearts, that to give for God's 
sake is no loss unto us, but great gain. And truly the poor 
man doth more for the rich man in taking things of him, than 
the rich doth for the poor in giving them. For the rich 
giveth but only worldly goods, but the poor giveth him by 
the promise of God all felicity. 

Quotidianum, "Daily." Here we learn to cast away all 
carefulness, and to come to this storehouse of God, where we 
shall have all things competent both for our souls and bodies. 
Further, in this petition we desire that God will feed not only 
our bodies, but also our souls ; and so we pray for the office 
of preaching. For like as the body must be fed daily with 
meat, so the soul requireth her meat, which is the word of 
God. Therefore we pray here for all the clergy, that they 
may do their duties, and feed us with the word of God 
according to their calling. 

Now I have troubled you long, therefore I will make an 
end. I desire you remember t© resort to this storehouse : 
whatsoever ye have need of, come hither ; here are all fhings 
necessary for your soul and body, only desire them. But 
you have heard how you must be apparelled; you must 
labour and do your duties, and then come, and you shall find 



On the Lord's Prayer 349 

all things necessary for you : and specially now at this time 
let us resort unto God ; for it is a great drought, as we think, 
and we had need of rain. Let us therefore resort unto our 
loving Father, which promiseth, that when we call upon him 
with a faithful heart, he will hear us. Let us therefore 
desire him to rule the matter so, that we may have our 
bodily sustenance. We have the ensample of Elias, whose 
prayer God heard. Therefore let us pray this prayer, which 
our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ himself taught us, 
saying, " Our Father, which art in heaven," &c. Ainen. 



SERMONS ON THE LORD'S PRAYER. 

The Sixth Sermon upoti the Lord's Prayer, made by Master 
Hugh Latimer. 

Et remitle tiobis debita nostra, sicut et nos remittimus debitoribus nostris. 

Matthew vi. 12. 

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. 

This is a very good prayer, if it be said in faith with the 
whole heart. There was never none that did say it with 
the heart, but he had forgiveness ; and his trespasses and all 
his sins were pardoned and taken from him. As touching 
the former petitions, I told you that many things were con- 
tained in them ; which you may perceive partly by that I 
have said, and partly by gatherings and conjectures. Truly 
there is a great doctrine in it ; yet we think it to be but a 
light matter to understand the Lord's prayer : but it is a 
great thing. Therefore I would have you to mark it well : 
but specially keep in your remembrance, how our Saviour 
teacheth us to know the liberality of God, how God hath 
determined to help us ; insomuch that we shall lack nothing, 
if we come to his treasure-house, where is locked up all things 
necessary for our souls and bodies. Farther, consider by the 
same petition that we be but beggars altogether. For the 
best of us hath need to say daily, " Our Father, give us this 
day our daily bread." I would these proud and lofty fellows 
would consider this, namely, that they be but beggars ; as 
St Paul saith. Quid habes quod non accepisti? "What have 
ye, that you have not gotten with begging ? " Yet most, 
above all things, I would have you to consider this word 
" our ; " for in that word are contained great mysteries and 
much learning. All those that pray this prayer, that is to 
say, all christian people, help me to get my living at God's 
hand ; for when they say " our," they include me in their 
prayers. Again, consider the remedy against carefulness ; 
which is to trust in God, to hang upon him, to come to his 

350 



Sixth Sermon on the Lord's Prayer 351 

treasure-house ; and then to labour, and to do the works of 
our vocation : then undoubtedly God will provide for us, we 
shall not lack. Therefore learn to trust upon the Lord, and 
leave this wicked carefulness, whereof our Saviour monisheth 
us. Specially, I would have you to consider what a wicked 
opinion this is, to fantasy that giving to the poor is a 
diminishing of our goods. I told you of late of the pro- 
prieties of things, how things be ours, and how they be not 
ours. All those things which we have, either by labour or by 
inheritance, or else by gifts, or else by buying, all those things 
which we have by such titles be our own ; but yet not so 
that we may spend them according to our own pleasure. 
They be ours upon the condition that we shall spend them 
to the honour of God, and the relieving of our neighbours. 
And here I spake of restitution ; how we ought to make 
amends unto that man whom we have deceived, or taken 
goods wrongfully from him. There be some men which think 
there is no other theft but only taking of purses, and kiUing 
men by the way, or stealing other men's good. Those men 
are much deceived ; for there be varia genera furtt, " A 
great number of thieves." What was this but a theft, when 
Esay saith, Principes tui infideles, socii furum ; " Thy 
princes are infidels, and are companions with thieves ? " This 
was a theft, but it was not a common theft ; it was a lordly 
theft : they could tell how to weary men, and so to take 
bribes of them. Such a one was Zachee : he robbed not 
men by the highway, but he was an oppressor, and forced 
men to pay more than they ought to pay ; which his so 
doing was as well a theft, as if he had robbed men by the 
highway. There be many which follow Zachee in his illness, 
but there be but few, or none at all, which will follow him 
in his goodness : Si quern defraudavi, reddam quadruplum ; 
" If I have deceived any man, I will pay it again fourfold." 
I would wish that all bribers and false tollers would follow 
his ensample. But I tell you, without restitution there is no 
salvation. This is a certain sentence, allowed and approved, 
first, by the holy scripture ; secondarily, by all the writers 
that ever wrote upon scripture. Yea, the very school-doctors, 
as bad as they were, yet they never contraried in that, but 
said : Restitutiones fam<z ac rerujn sunt opera debita ; " We 
ought to make restitution of a man's good name, and of his 
goods taken from him wrongfully : " that is to say, when we 
have slandered any body, we ought to make him amends. 



352 The Sixth Sermon 

Item, also, when we have taken any man's goods wrongfully, 
we ought to make him amends ; else we shall never be saved : 
for God abhorreth me, and all things that I do are abominable 
V>*:^fore him. 

""Remitte. Who is in this world which hath not need to 
say, " Lord, forgive me ? " No man living, nor never was, 
nor shall be, our Saviour only excepted : he was Agnus im- 
maculaius, " An undefiled Lamb." I remember a verse 
which I learned almost forty years ago, which is this : Scept 
precor mortem, 7nortem quoque deprecor idem ; "I pray many 
times for death to come ; and again I pray, that he shall not 
come." This verse doth put diversity \n precor and deprecor : 
precor is, when I would fain have a thing ; deprecor is, when 
I would avoid it. Like as Elias the prophet, when Jezabel 
had killed the prophets of the Lord ; Elias, being in a hole 
in the mount, desired of God to die ; and this is precor. 
Now deprecor is his contrarium ; when I would avoid the 
thing, then I use deprecor. Now in the Lord's prayer, till 
hither we have been in precor ; that is to say, we have de- 
sired things at God's hand. Now cometh deprecor ; I desire 
him now to remove such things which may do me harm : ai 
sin, which doth harm ; therefore I would have him to take 
away my trespasses. Now who is in this world, or ever 
hath been, which hath not need to say this deprecor; to 
desire God to take from him his sins, to " forgive him his 
trespasses ? " Truly, no saint in heaven, be they as holy as 
ever they will, yet they have had need of this deprecor ; 
they have had need to say, " Lord, forgive us our tres- 
passes." Now you ask, wherein standeth our righteousness ? 
Answer : in that, that God forgiveth unto us our unrighteous- 
ness. Wherein standeth our goodness ? In that, that God 
taketh away our illness ; so that our goodness standeth in 
his goodness. 

In the other petition we desire all things necessary for 
our bodily life, as long as we be here in this world : U?ius- 
quisque enim tempus cerium habei prcedefiniium a Domino ; 
" For every man hath a certain time appointed him of God, 
and God hideth that same time from us." For some die in 
young age, some in old age, according as it pleaseth him. 
He hath not manifested to us the time, because he would 
have us at all times ready : else if I knew the time, I would 
presume upon it, and so should be worse. But he would 
have us ready at all times, and therefore he hideth the time 



On the Lord's Prayer 353 

c^ our death from us. And it is a common saying, " There 
do' come as many skins of calves to the market, as there do 
of bulls or kine." But of that we may be sure, there shall 
not fall one hair from our head without his will ; and 
shall not die before the time that God hath appointed unto 
us : which is a comfortable thing, specially in time of sickness 
or wars. For there be many men which are afraid to go to 
war, and to do the king service, for they fear ever they shall 
be slain. Item, vicars and parsons be afraid when there 
cometh a sickness in the town ; therefore they were wont 
commonly to get themselves out of the way, and send a 
friar thither, which did nothing else but rob and spoil 
them : which doings of the vicar was damnable ; for it was 
a diffidence and a mistrust in God. Therefore, ye vicars, 
parsons, or curates, what name soever you bear, when 
there cometh any sickness in your town, leave not your 
flock without a pastor, but comfort them in their distress ; 
and believe certainly, that with your well-doings you cannot 
shorten your lives. Likewise, thou subject, when thou art 
commanded by the king or his officers to go to war, to 
fight against the king's enemies ; go with a good heart and 
courage, not doubting but that God will preserve thee, and 
that thou canst not shorten thy life with well-doing. Per- 
adventure God hath appointed thee to die there, or to be 
slain : happy art thou when thou diest in God's quarrel. 
For to fight against the king's enemies, being called unto it 
by the magistrates, it is God's service : therefore when thou 
diest in that service with a good faith, happy art thou. 
There be some which say, when their friends are slain in 
battle, " Oh, if he had tarried at home, he should not have 
lost his life." These sayings are naught : for God hath 
appointed every man his time. To go to war in presump- 
tuousness, without an ordinary calling, such going to war I 
allow not : but when thou art called, go in the name of the 
Lord ; and be well assured in thy heart that thou canst not 
shorten thy life with well-doing. 

Remitte, " Forgive us." Here we sue for our pardon ; 
and so we acknowledge ourselves to be offenders: for the 
unguilty needeth no pardon. This pardon, or remission of 
sins, is so necessary, that no man can be saved without 
it. Therefore of remission standeth the christian man's 
life : for so saith David, Beati quorum remissce sunt ini.jui- 
tates, et quorum tecia sunt peccata ; " They are blessed of 

M 



354 The Sixth Sermon 

God whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are 
covered." He saith not, Blessed be they which have never 
sinned : for where dwell such fellows which never sinned ? 
Marry, no where ; they are not to be gotten. Here the 
prophet signified that all we be sinners ; for he saith, quorum 
peccata sunt remissa, "whose sins are pardoned." And 
here we be painted out in our colours, else we would be 
proud; and so he saith in the gospel, Cum sitis mali, 
" Forasmuch as ye be all evil." There he giveth us our 
own title and name, calling us wicked and ill. There is 
neither man nor woman that can say they have no sin ; 
for we be all sinners. But how can we hide our sins ? 
Marry, the blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ hideth our 
sins, and washeth them away. And though one man had 
done all the world's sins since Adam's time, yet he may be 
remedied by the blood of Jesus Christ : if he believe in him, 
he shall be cleansed from all his sins. Therefore all our 
comfort is in him, in his love and kindness. For St Peter 
saith, Caritas operit multitudinem peccatorum ; " Charity 
covereth the multitude of sins." So doth indeed the love of 
our Saviour Jesu Christ : his love towards us covereth and 
taketh away all our sins; insomuch that the almighty God 
shall not condemn us, nor the devil shall not prevail against 
us. Our nature is ever to hide sin, and to cloak it ; but 
this is a wicked hiding, and this hiding will not serve. 
Videt et requiret ; " He seeth our wickedness, and he will 
punish it : " therefore our hiding cannot serve us. But if 
you be disposed to hide your sins, I will tell you how you 
shall hide them. First, acknowledge them ; and then believe 
in our Saviour Christ ; put him in trust withal : he will pacify 
his Father ; for " to that end he came into the world, to 
save sinners." This is the right way to hide sins ; not to go 
and excuse them, or to make them no sins. No, no ; 
the prophet saith, Beatus vir cut Dominus non imputat 
iniquitatem ; " Blessed is that man to whom the Lord 
imputeth not his sins." He saith not, " Blessed is he that 
did never sin ; " but, " Blessed is he to whom sin is not 
imputed." 

And so here in this petition we pray for remission of our 
sins ; which is so requisite to the beginning of the spiritual 
life, that no man can come thereto, except he pray for re- 
mission of his sins ; which standeth in Christ our Redeemer : 
he hath washen and cleansed our sins ; by him we shall be 



On the Lord's Prayer 355 

clean. But how shall we come to Christ ? How shall we 
have him ? I hear that he is beneficial, as scripture witness- 
eth : Copiosa est apud Deum redemptio ; " There is full and 
plenteous redemption by him." But how shall I get that? 
how shall I come unto it ? By faith. Faith is the hand 
wherewith we receive his benefits ; therefore we must needs 
have faith. But how shall we obtain faith ? Faith indeed 
bringeth Christ, and Christ bringeth remission of sins ; but 
how shall we obtain faith ? Atiswer : St Paul teacheth us 
this, saying : J^i'des ex auditu, " Faith cometh by hearing 
God's word." Then if we will come to faith, we must hear 
God's word : if God's word be necessary to be heard, then 
we must have preachers which be able to tell us God's 
word. And so it appeareth, that in this petition we pray 
for preachers ; we pray unto God, that he will send men 
amongst us, which may teach us the way of everlasting life. 
Truly it is a pitiful thing to see schools so neglected, scholars 
not maintained : every true Christian ought to lament the 
same. But I have a good hope, since God hath done greater 
things in taking away and extirping out all popery, that he 
will send us a remedy for this matter too. I hope he will 
put into the magistrates' heart to consider these things; 
for by this office of preaching God sendeth faith. The 
office is the office of salvation ; for "it hath pleased God" per 
stidtitiam prcEdicatio7iis salvos facere credentes, " by the 
foolishness of preaching to save the believers." So, I say^ 
we pray for this office which bringeth faith. Faith brin^r 
eth to Christ; Christ bringeth remission of sins; remissi(H» 
of sins bringeth everlasting life. 

O, this is a godly prayer, which we ought at all times to 
say, for we sin daily; therefore we had need to say daily, 
" Forgive us our trespasses ; " and, as David i^ai^ Ne intres 
in judicium cum servo tuo, " Lord, enter not into judgment 
with thy servant;" for we be not able to abide his judgment. 
If it were not for this pardon, which we have in our Saviour 
Jesu Christ, we should all perish eternally. For when this 
word, Remitte, was spoken with a good faith and with a 
penitent heart, there was never man but he was heard. If 
Judas, that traitor, had said it with a good faith, it should 
have saved him ; but he forgot that point. He was taught 
it indeed ; our Saviour himself taught him to pray so, but he 
forgot it again. Peter, he remembered that point : he cried, 
Remitte^ " Lord forgive me ; " and so he obtained his pardon. 



356 



The Sixth Sermon 



And so shall we do : for we be ever in that case, that we 
have need to say, Remiife, " Lord, forgive us ; " for we ever 
do amiss. 

But here is one addition, one hanger on : " As we forgive 
them that trespass against us." What meaneth this ? Indeed 
it soundeth after the words, as though we might or should 
merit remission of our sins with our forgiving. As for an 
ensample : That man hath done unto me a foul turn, he hath 
wronged me ; at the length he acknowledgeth his folly, and 
Cometh to me, and desireth me to forgive him ; I forgive him. 
Do I now, in forgiving my neighbour his sins which he hath 
done against me, do I, I say, deserve or merit at God's hand 
forgiveness of my own sins ? No, no ; God forbid ! for if 
this should be so, then farewell Christ : it taketh him clean 
away, it diminisheth his honour, and it is very treason 
wrought against Christ. This hath been in times past taught 
openly in the pulpits and in the schools ; but it was very 
treason against Christ : for in him only, and in nothing else, 
neither in heaven nor in earth, is our remission ; unto him 
only pertaineth this honour. For remission of sins, wherein 
consisteth everlasting life, is such a treasure, that passeth all 
men's doings : it must not be our merits that shall serve, but 
his. He is our comfort : it is the majesty of Christ, and his 
blood-shedding, that cleanseth us from our sins. Therefore, 
whosoever is minded contrary unto this, Fadus est reus Icesa 
majestatis ; " he robbeth Christ of his majesty," and so cast 
eth himself into everlasting danger. For though the works 
which we do be good outwardly, and God be pleased with 
them, yet they be not perfect : for we believe unperfectly, 
we love unperfectly, we suffer unperfectly, not as we ought 
to do ; and so all things that we do are done unperfectly. 
But our Saviour, he hath so remedied the matter, and taken 
away our unperfectness, that they be counted now before 
God most perfect and holy, not for our own sake, but for 
his sake : and though they be not perfect, yet they be taken 
for perfect ; and so we come to perfectness by him. So you 
see, as touching our salvation, we must not go to working to 
think to get everlasting life with our own doings. No, this 
were to deny Christ, Salvation, and remission of sins is his 
gift, his own and free gift. As touching our good works 
which we do, God will reward them in heaven ; but they 
cannot get heaven. Therefore let every man do well, for it 
shall be well rewarded : but let them not think that they 



On the Lord's Prayer 357 

with their doings may get heaven ; for so doing is a robbing 
of Christ. 

What shall we learn, now, by this addition, where we say, 
" As we forgive them that trespass against us ? " I tell you, 
this addition is put unto it not without great cause : for our 
Saviour, being a wise and perfect schoolmaster, would speak 
no words in vain. This addition is put unto it, to be a cer- 
tain and sure token unto us, whether we have the true faith 
in our hearts or no. For faith, the right faith, I say, con- 
sisteth not in the knowledge of the stories, to believe the 
stories written in the new and old Testament ; that is not 
the lively faith, which bringeth salvation with her. For the 
devil himself believeth the stories, and yet is, and shall be 
damned world without end. Therefore we must have the 
right faith, the lively faith, the faith that bringeth salvation ; 
which consisteth in believing that Christ died for my sins' 
sake. With such a faith I draw him unto me with all his 
benefits. I must not stand in generalities, as to believe that 
Christ suffered under Pontius Pilate : but I must believe that 
that was done for my sake ; to redeem with his passion my 
sins, and all theirs which believe and trust in him. If I 
believe so, then I shall not be deceived. But this faith is 
a hard thing to be had ; and many a man thinketh himself to 
have that faith, when he hath nothing less. Therefore I 
will tell you how you shall prove whether you have the right 
faith or no, lest you be deceived with a phantasy of faith, as 
many be. Therefore prove thyself on this wise : here is a 
man which hath done me wrong, hath taken away my living 
or my good name ; he hath slandered me, or otherwise hurt 
me : now at the length he cometh unto me, and acknowledg- 
eth his faults and trespasses, and desireth me to forgive him : 
if I now feel myself ready and willing to give him, from 
the bottom of my heart, all things that he hath done against 
me, then I may be assured that I have the lively faith ; yea, 
I may be assured that God will forgive me my sins for Christ 
his Son's sake. But when my neighbour cometh unto me, 
confessing his folly, and desiring forgiveness ; if I then be 
sturdy and proud, my heart flinty, and my stomach bent 
against him, insomuch that I refuse his request, and 
have an appetite to be avenged upon him ; if I have 
such a sturdy stomach, then I may pronounce against 
myself, that I have not that lively faith in Christ which 
cleanseth my sins. It is a sure token that I am not of the 



358 



The Sixth Sermon 



number of the children of God, as long as I abide in this 
sturdiness. 

There is no good body but he is slandered or injured by 
one mean or other ; and commonly it is seen, that those 
which live most godly, have in this world the greatest rebukes : 
they are slandered and backbitten, and divers ways vexed of 
the wicked. Therefore thou, whosoever thou art, that suffer- 
est such wrongs, either in thy goods and substance, Or in thy 
good name and fame ; examine thyself, go into thy heart ; 
and if thou canst find in thy heart to forgive all thy enemies 
whatsoever they have done against thee, then thou mayest 
be sure that thou art one of the flock of God. Yet thou 
must beware, as I said before, that thou think not to get to 
heu/en by such remitting of thy neighbour's ill-doings ; but 
by such forgiving, or not forgiving, thou shalt know whether 
thou have faith or no. Therefore if we have a rebellious 
stomach, and a flinty heart against our neighbour, so that we 
are minded to avenge ourselves upon him, and so take upon 
us God's office, which saith, Mihi vindida, ego retribiiam, 
" Yield unto me the vengeance, and I shall recompense them ; " 
as I told you, we be not of the flock of Christ. For it is 
written, Si guts dixerit quoniam diligo Deutn, et odio habet 
fratrem suum, inendax est: "Whosoever saith, I love God, 
and hateth his brother, that man or woman is a liar." For 
it is impossible for me to love God and hate my neighbour. 
And our Saviour saith. Si oraveritis, remittite ; " When you 
will pray, forgive first ; " else it is to no purpose, you get 
nothing by your prayer. Likewise we see in the parable of 
that king which called his servants to make an account and 
pay their debts, where he remitteth one of them a great 
sum of money : now that same fellow, whom the lord par- 
doned, went out and took one of his fellow-servants by the 
neck, and handled him most cruelly, saying, " Give me my 
money." He had forgotten, belike, that his lord had for- 
given him. Now the other servants, seeing his cruelness, 
came unto the king, and told him how that man used himself 
so cruelly to his fellow : the lord called him again, and after 
great rebukes cast him into prison, there to lie till he had 
paid the last farthing. Upon that our Saviour saith. Sic et 
Pater mens ccelestis faciei vobis, si non remiseritis unus- 
quisque fratri suo de cordibus vestris : " Thus will my 
heavenly Father also do unto you, if ye forgive not every 
one his brother even from your hearts." Therefore let us 



On the Lord's Prayer 359 

take heed by that wicked servant, which would not forgive 
his fellow-servant when he desired of him forgiveness, saying, 
Patientiam habe in me, ct omnia reddam tibi ; " Have pa- 
tience with nie," saith he, " and I will pay thee all my debts." 
But we cannot say so unto God ; we must only call for 
pardon. There be many folk, which when they be sick, they 
say, " O that I might live but one year longer, to make 
amends for my sins ! " Which saying is very naught and 
ungodly ; for we are not able to make amends for our sins ; 
only Christ, he is " the Lamb of God which taketh away our 
sins." Therefore when we be sick, we should say : " Lord 
God, thy will be done ; if I can do anything to thy honour 
and glory. Lord, suffer me to live longer : but thy will be 
done ! " As for satisfaction, we cannot do the least piece 
of it. 

You have heard now, how we ought to be willing to 
forgive our neighbours their sins, which is a very token that 
we be children of God : to this our Saviour also exhorteth 
us, saying. Si f rater tuus habet aliquid adversum te, relingue, 
&c. " If thou offerest therefore thy gift before the altar, 
and there rememberest that thy brother hath somewhat against 
thee, leave thou thy gift there before the altar, and go first 
and be reconciled unto thy brother." " Leave it there," saith 
our Saviour, " if thy brother have any thing against thee : go 
not about to sacrifice to me, but first, above all things, go and 
reconcile thyself unto thy brother." On such wise St Paul 
also exhorteth us, saying, Volo viros orare absque ira et 
disceptatione ; " I would have men to pray without anger and 
disceptation." There be many wranglers and brawlers now- 
a-days, which do not well : they shall well know that they be 
not in the favour of God ; God is displeased with them. Let 
us therefore give up ourselves to prayer, so that we may 
love God and our neighbour. It is a very godly prayer 
to say, " Lord, fqrgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them 
that trespass against us." 

But there be peradventure some of you, which will say, 
" The priest can absolve me and forgive me my sins." Sir, 
I tell thee, the priest or minister, call him what you will, 
he hath power given unto him from our Saviour to absolve 
in such wise as he is commanded by him : but I think 
ministers be not greatly troubled therewith ; for the people seek 
their carnal liberties ; which indeed is not well, and a thing 
which misliketh God. For I would have them that are 



36o 



The Sixth Sermon 



grieved in conscience to go to some godly man, which is able 
to minister God's word, and there to fetch his absolution, if 
he cannot be satisfied in the public sermon ; it were truly a 
thing which would do much good. But, to say the truth, there 
is a great fault in the priests ; for they for the most part be 
unlearned and wicked, and seek rather means and ways to 
wickedness than to godliness. But a godly minister, which is 
instructed in the word of God, can and may absolve in open 
preaching ; not of his own authority, but in the name of God : 
for God saith. Ego sum qui deleo miquitates ; " I am he that 
cleanseth thy sins." But I may absolve you, as an officer 
of Christ, in the open pulpit in this wise : " As many as 
confess their sins unto God, acknowledging themselves to 
be sinners ; and believe that our Saviour, through his passion, 
hath taken away their sins, and have an earnest purpose 
to leave sin ; as many, I say, as be so afifectioned, Ego absolvo 
vos ; I, as an officer of Christ, as his treasurer, absolve you 
in his name." This is the absolution that I can make by 
God's word. Again, as many as will stand in defence of 
their wickednesses, will not acknowledge them, nor purpose to 
leave them, and so have no faith in our Saviour, to be saved 
by him through his merit ; to them I say, Ego ligo vos, 
" I bind you." And I doubt not but they shall be bound in 
heaven ; for they be the children of the devil, as long as they 
be in such unbelief and purpose to sin. Here you see, how 
and in what wise a preacher may absolve or bind : but he 
cannot do it of fellowship, or worldly respect. No, in no 
wise ; he must do it according as Christ hath commanded 
him. If God now command to forgive him, qui peccat contra 
me, " that sinneth against me ; " how much more must I be 
reconciled to him whom I have offended ! I must go unto 
him, and desire him to forgive me ; I must acknowledge my 
fault, and so humble myself before him. Here a man might 
ask a question, saying : " What if a man have offended me 
grievously ; and hath hurt me in my goods, or slandered me ; 
and is sturdy in it, -standeth in defence of himself and his own 
wickedness, he will not acknowledge himself; shall I forgive 
him ? " Answer : Forsooth, God himself doth not so ; he 
forgiveth not sins, except the sinner acknowledge himself, 
confess his wickedness, and cry him mercy. Now I am sure 
God requireth no more at our hands than he doth himself. 
Therefore I will say this : if thy neighbour or any man hath 
done against thee and will not confess his faults, but 



On the Lord's Prayer 361 

wickedly defendeth the same, I, for my own discharge, must 
put away all rancour and malice out of my heart, and be ready, 
as far forth as I am able, to help him ; if I do so, I am 
discharged afore God, but so is not he. For truly that 
sturdy fellow shall make an heavy account afore the righteous 
Judge. 

Here I have occasion to speak against the Novatians, 
which deny remission of sins. Their opinion is, that he which 
Cometh oncato Christ, and hath received the Holy Ghost, 
and after that sinneth again, he shall never come to Christ 
again ; his sins shall never be forgiven him : which opinion is 
most erroneous and wicked, yea, and clean against scripture. 
For if it should be so, there should nobody be saved ; for 
there is no man but he sinneth daily. I told you how you 
should understand those two places of scripture, which seem 
to be very hard, No7i est sacrificium, &c. " There is no sa- 
crifice," &c. As concerning the sin against the Holy Ghost, 
we cannot judge aforehand, but after. I know now that Judas 
had sinned against the Holy Ghost ; also Nero, Pharao, and 
one Franciscus Spira ; which man had forsaken popery, and 
done very boldly in God's quarrel ; at the length he was 
complained of, the Holy Ghost moved him in his heart to 
stick unto it, and not to forsake God's word ; he, contrary to 
that admonition of the Holy Ghost, denied the word of God, 
and so finally died in desperation : him I may pronounce to 
have sinned the sin against the Holy Ghost. But I will shew 
you a remedy for the sin against the Holy Ghost. Ask re- 
missioti of sin in the name of Christ, and then I ascertain you 
that you sin not against the Holy Ghost. For gratia ex- 
superat supra peccatum ; " The mercy of God far exceedeth 
our sins." 

I have heard tell of some, which when they said this pe- 
tition, they perceived that they asked of God forgiveness, like 
as they themselves forgive their neighbours ; and again, per- 
ceiving themselves so unapt to forgive their neighbours' faults, 
came to that point, that they would not say this prayer at 
all ; but took our Lady's Psalter in hand, and such fooleries ; 
thinking they might then do unto their neighbour a foul turn 
with a better conscience, than if they should say this petition : 
for here they wish themselves the vengeance of God upon 
their heads, if they bear grudge in their hearts, and say this 
petition. But if we will be right Christians, let us set aside 
all hatred and malice; let us live godly, and forgive our 

M * 



362 Sixth Sermon on the Lord's Prayer 

enemy ; so that we may from the bottom of our heart say, 
" Our Father, which art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses." 
There be some when they say, " Forgive us our trespasses," 
they think that God will forgive culpam only, sed non pcenam, 
guiltiness and not the pain ; and therefore they believe 
they shall go into purgatory, and there to be cleansed from 
their sins : which thing is not so ; they be liars which teach 
such doctrine. For God forgiveth us both the pain and the 
guiltiness of sins : like as it appeared in David when he re- 
pented; Nathan said unto him, Abstulit Dominus iniquitatem 
tuam, "The Lord hath taken away thy wickedness." But 
they will say, " God took away the guiltiness of his sins, but 
not the pain ; for he punished him afterward." Sir, you 
must understand that God punished him, but not to the end 
that he should make satisfaction and amends for his sins, but 
for a warning. God would give him a Cave; therefore he 
punished him. So likewise, whosoever is a repentant sinner, 
as David was, and believeth in Christ, he is clean a poena et 
a culpa, both from the pain and guiltiness of his sins ; yet 
God punisheth sins, to make us to remember and beware of 
sins. 

Now to make an end : You have heard how needful it is 
for us to cry unto God for forgiveness of our sins : where you 
have heard, wherein forgiveness of our sins standeth, namely, 
in Christ the Son of the living God. Again, I told you how 
you should come to Christ, namely, by faith ; and faith cometh 
through hearing the word of God. Remember then this ad- 
dition, "As we forgive them that trespass against us;" which 
is a sure token, whereby we know whether we have the true 
faith in Christ or no. And here you learn, that it is a good 
thing to have an enemy ; for we may use him to our great 
commodity : through him or by him we may prove ourselves, 
whether we have the true faith or no. 

Now I shall desire you yet again to pray unto almighty 
God, that he will send such weather, whereby the fruits of 
the field may increase ; for we think we have need of rain. 
Let us therefore call upon him, which knoweth what is best 
for us. Therefore say with me the Lord's prayer, as he 
himself hath taught us : " Our Father, which art," &c. 



SERMONS ON THE LORD'S PRAYER 

The Seventh Sermon upon the Lord's Prayer 

Etne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. — Matthew vi. 13. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 

In the petition afore, where we say, " Forgive us our 
trespasses," there we fetch remedies for sins past. For we 
must needs have forgiveness ; we cannot remedy the matter 
of ourselves ; our sins must be remedied by pardon, by 
remission : other righteousness we have not, but forgiving of 
our unrighteousness ; our goodness standeth in forgiving of 
our illness. All mankind must cry pardon, and acknowledge 
themselves to be sinners ; except our Saviour, who was clean 
without spot of sin. Therefore when we feel our sins, we 
must with a penitent heart resort hither, and say : " Our 
Father, which art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses, as we 
forgive them that trespass against us." Mark well this addi- 
tion, " as we forgive them that trespass ; " for our Saviour 
putteth the same unto it, not to that end that we should 
merit any thing by it, but rather to prove our faith, whether 
we be of the faithful flock of God or no. For the right faith 
abideth not in that man that is disposed purposely to sin, to 
hate his even ^ Christian, or to do other manner of sins. For 
whosoever purposely sinneth, contra conscientiam, "against 
his conscience," he hath lost the Holy Ghost, the remission of 
sins, and finally Christ himself. But when we are fallen so, 
we must fetch them again at God's hand by this prayer, 
which is a storehouse : here we shall find remission of our 
sins. And though we be risen never so well, yet when we 
fall again, when we sin again, what remedy then ? What 
availeth it me to be risen once, and fall by and by into the 
self-same sin again, which is a renovation of the other sins ? 
For whosoever hath done wickedly an act against God, and 

' Fellow-Christian. 

363 



3^4 



The Seventh Sermon 



afterwards is sorry for it, crieth God mercy, and so cometh 
to forgiveness of the same sin ; but by and by, willingly, and 
wittingly, doth the self-same sin again ; — he renovateth by so 
doing all those sins which beforetimes were forgiven him. 
Which thing appeareth by the lord, that took reckoning of 
his servants, where he found one which owed him a great 
sum of money : the lord pitied him, and remitted him all the 
debts. Now that same man afterward shewed himself un- 
thankful and wicked : therefore the lord called him, and cast 
him into prison, there to lie till he had paid the uttermost 
farthing, notwithstanding that he had forgiven him afore, &c. 
So we see the guiltiness of the former sins turn again, when 
we do the same sins again. Seeing then that it is so dan- 
gerous a thing to fall into sin again, then we had need to 
have some remedy, some help, that we might avoid sin, and 
not fall thereto again : therefore here followeth this petition, 
" Lead us not into temptation." 

Here we have a remedy, here we desire God that he will 
preserve us from falling into sin. Our Saviour, that loving 
school-master, knew whereof we had need ; therefore he teach- 
eth us to beg a preservation of God, that we fall not : " Lead 
us not, &c. ; " that is to say, " Lord, lead us not into trial, 
for we shall soon be overcome, but preserve us; suffer us not 
to sin again ; let us not fall ; help us, that sin get not the 
victory over us." And this is a necessary prayer ; for what 
is it that we can do ? Nothing at all but sin. And there- 
fore we have need to pray unto God, that he will preserve 
and keep us in the right way ; for our enemy, the devil, is 
an unquiet spirit, ever lying in the way, seeking occasion 
how to bring us to ungodliness. Therefore it appeareth how 
much we have need of the help of God : for the devil is an 
old enemy, a fellow of great antiquity ; he hath endured this 
five thousand five hundred and fifty-two years, in which 
space he hath learned all arts and cunnings ; he is a great 
practiser; there is no subtilty but he knoweththe same. Like 
as an artificer that is cunning and expert in his craft, and know- 
eth how to go to work, how to do his business in the readiest 
way ; so the devil knoweth all ways how to tempt us, and to 
give us an overthrow; insomuch that we can begin nor do 
nothing, but he is at our heels, and worketh some mischief, 
whether we be in prosperity or adversity, whether we be in 
health or sickness, life or death ; he knoweth how to use the 
same to his purpose. As for an ensample : When a man is 



On the Lord's Prayer 365 

rich, and of great substance, he by and by setteth upon him 
with his crafts, intending to bring him to mischief ; and so 
he moveth him to despise and contemn God, to make his 
riches his God. Yea, he can put such pride into the rich 
man's heart, that he thinketh himself able to bring all things 
to pass ; and so beginneth to oppress his neighbour with 
his riches. But God, by his holy word, warneth us and 
armeth us against such crafts and subtilties of the devil, 
saying, DiviticB si affluant, nolite cor apponere ; " If riches 
come upon you, set not your hearts upon them." He 
commandeth us not to cast them away, but not to set our 
hearts upon them, as wicked men do. For to be rich is a 
gift of God, if riches be rightly used ; but the devil is so 
wily, he stirreth up rich men's hearts to abuse them. 
Again, when a man falleth into poverty, so that he lacketh 
things necessary to the sustentation of this bodily life ; 
lo, the devil is even ready at hand to take occasion by the 
poverty to bring him to mischief. For he will move and 
stir up the heart of man that is in poverty, ^not to labour 
and calling upon God, but rather to stealing and rob- 
bing, notwithstanding God forbiddeth such sins in his laws ; 
or else, at the least, he will bring him to use deceit and 
falsehood with his neighbour, intending that way to bring 
him to everlasting destruction. Further, when a man is in 
honour and dignity, and in great estimation, this serpent 
sleepeth not, but is ready to give him an overthrow. For 
though honour be good unto them which come lawfully by it, 
and though it be a gift of God ; yet the devil will move that 
man's heart which hath honour, to abuse his honour : for he 
will make him lofty, and high-minded, and fill his heart full 
of ambitions, so that he shall have a desire ever to come 
higher and higher ; and all those which will withstand him, 
they shall be hated, or ill entreated at his hand : and at the 
length he shall be so poisoned with this ambition, that he 
shall forget all humanity and godliness, and consequently fall 
in the fearful hands of God. Such a fellow is the devil, 
that old doctor ! 

If it Cometh to pass that a man fall into open ignominy 
and shame, so that he shall be nothing regarded before the 
world ; then the devil is at hand, moving and stirring his 
heart to irksomeness, and at the length to desperation. If he 
be young and lusty, the devil will put in his heart, and 
say to him : " What ! thou art in thy flowers, man ; take 



366 



The Seventh Sermon 



thy pleasure ; make merry with thy companions ; remember 
the old proverb, ' Young saints, old devils.' " Which proverb 
in very deed is naught and deceitful, and the devil's own in- 
vention ; which would have parents negligent in bringing up 
their children in goodness. He would rather see them to be 
brought up in illness and wickedness ; therefore he found out 
such a proverb, to make them careless for their children. 
But, as I said afore, this proverb is naught : for look com- 
monly, where children are brought up in wickedness, they 
will be wicked all their lives after ; and therefore we may 
say thus, " Young devil, old devil ; young saints, old saints." 
Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem Testa diu ; " The 
earthen pot will long savour of that liquor that is first put 
into it." And here appeareth, how the devil can use the 
youth of a young man to his destruction, in exhorting him to 
follow the fond lusts of that age. Likewise when a man 
cometh to age, that old serpent will not leave him ; but is 
•ever stirring him from one mischief unto the other, from one 
wickedness to another. And commonly he moveth old folks 
^o avarice and covetousness : for then old folk will commonly 
say, by the inspiration of the devil, '* Now it is time for me 
to lay up, to keep in store somewhat for me, that I may have 
wherewith to live when I shall be a cripple." And so under 
this colour they set all their hearts and minds only upon this 
world ; forgetting their poor neighbour, which God would 
have relieved by them. ' But, as I told you before, this is the 
devil's invention and subtilty, which blindeth their eyes so, 
and withdraweth their hearts so far from God, that it is 
scant possible for some to be brought again : for they have 
set all their hearts and phantasies in such wise upon their 
goods, that they cannot suffer any body to occupy their 
goods, nor they themselves use it not; to the verifying of 
this common sentence : Avarus caret quod habet, ceque ac 
quod non habet ; "The covetous man lacketh as well those 
things which he hath, as those things which he hath not." 
So likewise when we be in health, the devil moveth us to all 
wickedness and naughtiness, to whoredom, lechery, theft, 
and other horrible faults ; putting clean out of our mind the 
remembrance of God and his judgments, insomuch that we 
forget that we shall die. Again, when we be in sickness, 
he goeth about like a lion to move and stir us up to im- 
patiency and murmuring against God; or else he maketh our 
sins so horrible before us that we fall into desperation. And 



On the Lord's Prayer 367 

so it appeareth that there is nothing either so high or 
low, so great or small, but the devil can use that self-same 
thing as a weapon to fight against us withal, like as with a 
sword. Therefore our Saviour, knowing the crafts and sub- 
tilties of our enemy the devil, how he goeth about day and 
night, without intermission, to seek our destruction, teacheth 
us here to cry unto God our heavenly father for aid and 
help, for a subsidy against this strong and mighty enemy, 
against the prince of this world, as St Paul disdained not to 
call him ; for he knew his power and subtile conveyances. 
Belike St Paul had some experience of him. 

Here by this petition, when we say, " Lead us not into 
temptation," we learn to know our own impossibility and 
infirmity ; namely, that we be not able of our ownselves to 
withstand this great and mighty enemy, the devil. Therefore 
here we resort to God, desiring him to help and defend us, 
whose power passeth the strength of the devil. So it ap- 
peareth that this is a most needful petition : for when the 
devil is busy about us, and moveth us to do against God, and 
his holy laws and commandments, ever we should have in 
remembrance whither to go, namely, to God ; acknowledging 
our weakness, that we be not able to withstand the enemy. 
Therefore we ought ever to say, "Our Father, which art in 
heaven, lead us not into temptation.''' 

This petition, " lead us not into temptation," the meaning 
of it is : " Almighty God, we desire thy holy majesty for to 
stand by and with us, with thy holy Spirit ; so that tempta- 
tion overcome us not, but that we, through thy goodness and 
help, may vanquish and get the victory over it : for it is not 
in our power to do it ; thou, O God, must help us to strive 
and fight." It is with this petition, " lead us not into temp- 
tation," even as much as St Paul saith, Ne regnet , igitur 
peccatum in vestro mortali corpore ; " Let not sin reign in 
your corruptible body," saith St Paul. He doth not require 
that we shall have no sin, for that is impossible unto us ; but 
he requireth that we be not servants unto sin ; that we give 
not place unto it, that sin rule not in us. And this is a 
commandment : we are commanded to forsake and hate sin, 
so that it may have no power over us. Now we shall turn 
this commandment into a prayer, and desire of God that he 
will keep us, that he will not lead us into temptation ; that is 
to say, that he will not suffer sin to have the rule and gover- 
nance over us ; and so we shall say with the prophet, DominCy 



368 



The Seventh Sermon 



dirige gressus ineos, " Lord, rule and govern thou me in the 
right way." And so we shall turn God's commandment into 
a prayer, to desire of him help to do his will and pleasure : 
like as St Augustine saith. Da qmd jubes, et jube quod vis ; 
"Give that thou commandest, and then command what thou 
wilt." As who say, " If thou wilt command only and not 
give, then we shall be lost, we shall perish." Therefore we 
must desire him to rule and govern all our thoughts, words, 
acts, and deeds, so that no sins bear rule in us : we must 
require him to put his helping hand to us, that we may 
overcome temptation, and not temptation us. This I would 
have you to consider, that every morning, when you rise 
from your bed, you would say these words with a faithful 
heart and earnest mind : Domifte, gressus meos dirige, ne 
dominetur peccatum in meo mortali corpore ; "Lord, rule 
and govern me so, order my ways so, that sin get not the 
victory of me, that sin rule me not ; but let thy Holy Ghost 
inhabit my heart." And specially when any man goeth 
about a dangerous business, let him ever say, I)o7fiine, dirige 
gressus meos, " Lord, rule thou me ; keep me in thy custody." 
So this is the first point, which you shall note in this peti- 
tion, namely, to turn the commandments of God into a prayer. 
He commandeth us to leave sins, to avoid them, to hate 
them, to keep our heart clean from them : then let us turn 
his commandment into a prayer, and say, " Lord, lead us 
not into temptation ; " that is to say, " Lord, keep us, that 
the devil prevail not against us, that wickedness get not the 
victory over us." 

You shall not think that it is an ill thing to be tempted, 
to fall into temptations. No, for it is a good thing ; and 
scripture commendeth it, and we shall be rewarded for it : 
for St James saith, Beatus vir qui suffert tentationem ; 
" Blessed is that man that suffereth temptations patiently." 
Blessed is he that suffereth ; not he that followeth ; not he 
that is led by them, and followeth the motions thereof. The 
devil moveth me to do this thing and that, which is against 
God ; to commit whoredom or lechery, or such like things. 
Now this is a good thing : for if I withstand his motions, and 
more regard God than his suggestions, happy am I, and I 
shall be rewarded for it in heaven. Some think that St Paul 
would have been without such temptations, but God would 
not grant his request. Sufficit tibi gratia mea, Faule ; " Be 
content, Paul, to have my favour." For temptations be a 



On the Lord's Prayer 369 

declaration of God's favour and might : for though we be 
most weak and feeble, yet through our weakness God van- 
quisheth the great strength and might of the devil. And 
afterward he promiseth us we shall have coronam vitce, " the 
crown of life ; " that is to say, we shall be rewarded in ever- 
lasting life. To whom did God promise coronam vitce, ever- 
lasting life ? Diligentibus se, saith St James, " Unto them that 
love him ; " not unto them that love themselves, and follow 
their own affections. Dilige7itibus se : it is an amphibologia ; ^ 
and therefore Erasmus turneth it into Latin with such words, 
A quibus dilectus est JDeus, — non, diligejitibus se ; not, "they 
that love themselves," but, " they of whom God is beloved : " 
for self-love is the root of all mischief and wickedness, 

Here you may perceive who are those which love God, 
namely, they that fight against temptations and assaults of 
the devil. For this life is a warfare, as St Job saith : Mi- 
litia est vita hominis super terram, " The life of man is but 
a warfare." Not that we should fight and brawl one with 
another : no, not so ; but we should fight against the Je- 
busites that are within us. We may not fight one with 
another to avenge ourselves and to satisfy our irefulness ; 
but we should fight against the ill motions which rise up in 
our hearts against the law of God. Therefore remember 
that our life is a warfare : let us be contented to be tempted. 
There be some, when they fall into temptations, they be so 
irksome that they give place, they will fight no more. Again, 
there.be some so weary that they rid themselves out of this 
life ; but this is not well done. They do not after St James's 
mind ; for he saith, " Blessed is he that suffereth temptation, 
and taketh it patiently." Now, if he be blessed that suf- 
fereth temptation, then it followeth, that he that curseth and 
murmureth against God, being tempted, that that man is 
cursed in the sight of God, and so shall not enjoy corofiam 
vitcB, " everlasting life." 

Further, it is a necessary thing to be tempted of God ; 
for how should we know whether we have the love of God 
in our hearts or no, except we be tried, except God tempt 
and prove us ? Therefore the prophet David saith, Proba 
7ne, Domine, et tenta me ; " Lord, prove me, and tempt me." 
This prophet knew that to be tempted of God is a good 
thing : for temptations minister to us occasion to run to God, 
and to beg his help. Therefore David was desirous to have 
' A sentence that will bear a double meaning. 



370 The Seventh Sermon 

something whereby he might exercise his faith. For there 
is nothing so dangerous in the world as to be without trouble, 
without temptation. For look, when we be best at ease, when 
all things go with us according unto our will and pleasure, 
then we are commonly most farthest off from God. Fpr our 
nature is so feeble, that we cannot bear tranquillity ; we for- 
get God by and by : therefore we should say, Proba me, 
** Lord, prove me, and tempt me." 

I have read once a story of a good bishop, which rode 
by the way, and was weary, being yet far off from any town : 
therefore seeing a fair house, a great man's house, he went 
thither, and was very well and honourably received. There 
was great preparations made for him and a great banquet ; 
all things were in plenty. Then the man of the house set 
out his prosperity, and told the bishop what riches he had ; 
in what honour and dignities he was ; how many fair chil- 
dren he had ; what a virtuous wife God had provided for 
him ; so that he had no lack of any manner of thing ; he 
had no trouble nor vexations, neither inward nor outward. 
Now this holy man, hearing the good estate of that man, 
called one of his servants, and commanded him to make 
ready the horses ; for the bishop thought that God was not 
in that house, because there was no temptation there : he 
took his leave, and went his ways. Now when he came 
two or three mile off, he remembered his book which he had 
left behind him : he sent his man back again to fetch that 
book ; and when the servant came again, the house was 
sunken and all that was in it. Here it appeareth that it is 
a good thing to have temptation. This man thought him- 
self a jolly fellow, because all things went with him : but he 
knew not St James's lesson, Beatus qui suffert tentationem ; 
" Blessed is he that endureth temptation." Let us therefore 
learn here, not to be irksome when God layeth his cross 
upon us. Let us not despair, but call upon him ; let us 
think we be ordained unto it. For truly we shall never 
have done ; we shall have one vexation or other, as long as 
we be in this world. But we have a great comfort, which 
is this : Fidelis est Deus, qui non sifiit nos tentari supra 
quam ferre possumus ; " God is faithful, who will not suffer 
us to be tempted above our strength." If we mistrust God, 
then we make him a liar : for God will not suffer us to be 
tempted further than we shall be able to bear. And, again, 
he will reward us j we shall have coronam vitce, " everlasting 



On the Lord's Prayer 371 

life." If we consider this, and ponder it in our hearts, where- 
fore should we be troubled ? Let every man, when he is in 
trouble, call upon God with a faithful and penitent heart, 
" Lord, let me not be tempted further than thou shalt make 
me able to bear." And this is the office of every christian 
man ; and look for no better cheer as long as thou art in 
this world : but trouble and vexations thou shalt have usque 
ad sattetatem, " thy belly full." And therefore our Saviour, 
being upon the mount Olivet, knowing what should come 
upon him, and how his disciples would forsake him, and mis- 
trust him, taught them to fight against temptation, saying, 
Vigilate et orate. As who say, " I tell you what you shall 
do : resort to God, seek comfort of him, call upon him in my 
name ; and this shall be the way how to escape temptations 
without your peril and loss." Now let us follow that rule 
which our Saviour giveth unto his disciples. Let us " watch 
and pray ; " that is to say, let us be earnest and fervent in 
calling upon him, and in desiring his help; and no doubt 
he will order the matter so with us that temptation shall not 
hurt us, but shall be rather a furtherance, and not an im- 
pediment to everlasting life. And this is our only remedy, 
to fetch help at his hands. Let us therefore watch and 
pray ; let not temptations bear rule in us or govern us. 

Now peradventure there be some amongst the ignorant 
unlearned sort, which will say unto me, "You speak much 
of temptations ; I pray you tell us, how shall we know when 
we be tempted?" Answer: When you feel in yourselves, 
in your hearts, some concupiscence or lust towards any thing 
that is against the law of God rise up in your hearts, that 
same is a tempting : for all manner of ill motions to wicked- 
ness are temptations. And we be tempted most commonly 
two manner of ways, a dextris et a sinistris, " on the 
right hand, and on the left hand." Whensoever we be in 
honours, wealth, and prosperities, then we be tempted on 
the right hand : but when we be in open shame, out-laws, 
or in great extreme poverty and penuries, then that is on 
the left hand. There hath been many, that when they have 
been tempted a s/m'stn's, "on the left hand," that is, with 
adversities and all kind of miseries, they have been hardy 
and most godly ; have suffered such calamities, giving God 
thanks amidst all their troubles : and there hath been many 
which have written most godly books in the time of their 
temptations and miseries. Some also there were which stood 



372 The Seventh Sermon 

heartily, and godlily suffered temptations, as long as they 
were in trouble : but afterward, when they came to rest, 
they could not stand so well as before in their trouble : yea, 
the most part go and take out a new lesson of discretion, 
to flatter themselves and the world withal ; and so they 
verify that saying, Honores mutant mores ^ " Honours change 
manners." For they can find in their hearts to approve that 
thing now, which before time they reproved. Aforetime they 
sought the honour of God, now they seek their own pleasure. 
Like as the rich man did, saying, Anirna, nunc ede, bibe, &c., 
"Soul, now eat, drink," &:c. But it followeth, Stu/te, " Thou 
fool." Therefore, let men beware of the right hand ; for they 
are gone by and by, except God with his Spirit illuminate 
their hearts. I would such men would begin to say with 
David, Proba me., Domine, " Lord, prove me : spur me for- 
ward ; send me somewhat, that I forget not thee ! " So it 
appeareth that a christian man's life is a strife, a warfare : 
but we shall overcome all our enemies ; yet not by our own 
power, but through God which is able to defend us. 

Truth it is that God tempteth. Almighty God tempteth 
to our commodities, to do us good withal ; the devil tempteth 
to our everlasting destruction. God tempteth us for exercise' 
sake, that we should not be slothful ; therefore he proveth us 
diversely. We had need often to say this prayer, " Lord, 
lead us not into temptation." When we rise up in a morning, 
or whatsoever we do, when we feel the devil busy about us, 
we should call upon God. The diligence of the devil should 
make us watchful, when we consider with what earnest mind 
he applieth his business : for he sleepeth not, he slumbereth 
not; he mindeth his own business, he is careful, and hath 
mind of his matters. To what end is he so diligent, seeking 
and searching like a hunter ? Even, to take us at a vantage. 
St Peter calleth him a roaring lion, whereby is expressed his 
power : for you know, the lion is the prince of all other 
beasts. Circurnit, " He goeth about." Here is his diligence. 
JVon est potestas, &c. " There is no power to be likened 
unto his power : " yet our hope is in God ; for, as strong as 
he is, our hope is in God. He cannot hurt or slay us without 
the permission of God : therefore let us resort unto God, and 
desire him that he will enable us to fight against him. Fur- 
ther, his wiliness is expressed by this word " serpent." He 
is of a swift nature ; he hath such compasses, such fetches, 
that he passeth all things in the world. Again, consider how 



On the Lord's Prayer 373 

long he hath been a practitioner. You must consider what 
Satan is, what experience he hath ; so that we are not able 
to match with him. O, how fervently ought we to cry unto 
God, considering what danger and peril we be in ! And not 
only for ourselves we ought to pray, but also for all others ; 
for we ought to love our neighbour as ourselves. 

Seeing then that we have such an enemy, resist ; for so it 
is needful. For I think that now in this hall, amongst this 
audience, there be many thousand devils, which go about to 
let us of the hearing of the word of God ; to make hardness 
in our hearts, and to stir up such like mischief within us. 
But what remedy? Resistite, "Withstand;" withstand his 
motions. And this must be done at the first. For, as strong 
as he is, when he is resisted at the first, he is the weakest ; 
but if we suffer him to come into our hearts, then he cannot 
be driven out without great labour and travail. As for an 
ensample : I see a fair woman, I like her very well, I wish 
in my heart to have her. Now withstand ; this is a tempta- 
tion. Shall I follow my affections ? No, no : call to remem- 
brance what the devil is ; call God to remembrance and his 
laws ; consider what he hath commanded thee : say unto 
God, " Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from 
evil." For I tell thee, when he is entered once, it will be 
hard to get him out again. Therefore suffer him not too 
long : give him no mansion in thy heart, but strike him with 
the word of God, and he is gone ; he will not abide. Another 
ensample : There is a man that hath done me wrong ; taken 
away my living, or hurt me of my good name : the devil 
stirreth me against him, to requite him, to do him another 
foul turn, to avenge myself upon him. Now, when there 
riseth up such motions in my heart, I must resist ; I must 
strive. I must consider what God saith, Mihi vindicfa, " Let 
me have the vengeance : " Ego retribuam, " I will punish 
him for his ill doings." 

In such wise we must fight with Satan ; we must kill him 
with the word of God : Resistite, " Withstand and resist." 
"Away thou, Satan; thou movest me to that which God 
forbiddeth ; God will defend me : I will not speak ill of my 
neighbour ; I will do him no harm." So you must fight with 
him ; and further remember what St Paul saith, " If thy 
enemy be hungry, let him have meat : " this is the shrewd 
turn that scripture alloweth us to do to our enemies ; and 
so we shall " cast hot coals upon his head ; " which is a 



374 The Seventh Sermon 

metaphorical speech. That ye may understand it, take an 
ensample. This man hath done harm unto thee : make him 
warm with thy benefits ; bear patiently the injuries done unto 
thee by him, and do for him in his necessities : then thou 
shalt heat him ; for he is in coldness of charity. At the 
length he shall remember himself, and say, " What a man am 
I ! This man hath ever been friendly and good unto me ; he 
hath borne patiently all my wickedness ; truly I am much 
bound unto him : I will leave off my wrong doings, I will no 
more trouble him." And so you see that this is the way to 
make our enemy good, to bring him to reformation. But 
there be some, that when they be hurt, they will do a foul 
turn again. But this is not as God would have it. St Paul 
commandeth us to " pour hot coals upon our enemy's head ; " 
that is to say, if he hurt thee, do him good, make him amends 
with well-doing ; give him meat and drink, whereby is under- 
stood all things: when he hath need of counsel, help him; 
or whatsoever it is that he hath need of, let him have it. 
And this is the right way to reform our enemy, to amend 
him, and bring him to goodness ; for so St Paul commandeth 
us, saying. Noli vinci a 7nalo, "Be not overcome of the 
wicked." For when I am about to do my enemy a foul turn, 
then he hath gotten the victory over me ; he hath made me 
as wicked as he himself is. But we ought to overcome the 
ill with goodness ; we should overcome our enemy with well- 
doing. 

When I was in Cambridge, Master George Stafford read 
a lecture, there I heard him ; and in expounding the epistle 
to the Romans, coming to that place where St Paul saith, 
that *' we shall overcome our enemy with well-doing, and so 
heap up hot coals upon his head ; " now in expounding of that 
place, he brought in an ensample, saying, that he knew in 
London a great rich merchant, which merchant had a very 
poor neighbour ; yet for all his poverty, he loved him very 
well, and lent him money at his need, and let him to come 
to his table whensoever he would. It was even at that time 
when Doctor Colet was in trouble, and should have been 
burnt, if God had not turned the king's heart to the contrary. 
Now the rich man began to be a scripture man ; he began to 
smell the gospel : the poor man was a papist still. It chanced 
on a time, when the rich man talked of the gospel, sitting at 
his table, where he reproved popery and such kind of things, 
the poor man, being then present, took a great displeasure 



On the Lord's Prayer 375 

against the rich man ; insomuch that he would come no more 
to his house, he would borrow no money of him, as he was 
wont to do before-times ; yea, and conceived such hatred and 
malice against him, that he went and accused him before the 
bishops. Now the rich man, not knowing any such displea- 
sure, offered many times to talk with him, and to set him at 
quiet ; but it would not be : the poor man had such a stomach, 
that he would not vouchsafe to speak with him ; if he met 
the rich man in the street, he would go out of his way. One 
time it happened that he met him so in a narrow street, that 
he could not avoid but come near him ; yet for all that, this 
poor man had such a stomach against the rich man, I say, 
that he was minded to go forward, and not to speak with 
him. The rich man perceiving that, catcheth him by the 
hand, and asked him, saying : "Neighbour, what is come into 
your heart, to take such displeasure vvith me ? What have 
I done against you? Tell me, and I will be ready at all 
times to make you amends." Finally, he spake so gently, so 
charitably, so lovingly, and friendly, that it wrought so in 
the poor man's heart, that by and by he fell down upon his 
knees and asked him forgiveness. The rich man forgave 
him, and so took him again to his favour ; and they loved as 
well as ever they did afore. Many one would have said, 
" Set him in the stocks ; let him have bread of affliction, and 
water of tribulation." But this man did not so. And here 
you see an ensample of the practice of God's words in such 
sort, that the poor man, bearing great hatred and malice 
against the rich man, was brought, through the lenity and 
meekness of the rich man, from his error and wickedness to 
the knowledge of God's word. I would you would consider 
this ensample well, and follow it. 

" Lead us not into temptation." Certain it is that custom- 
able sinners have but small temptations : for the devil letteth 
them alone, because they be his already ; he hath them in 
bondage, they be his slaves. But when there is any good 
man abroad, that intendeth to leave sin and wickedness, and 
abhorreth the same, the man shall be tempted. The devil 
goeth about to use all means to destroy that' man, and to let 
him of his forwardness. Therefore all those which have such 
temptations, resort hither for aid and help, and withstand 
betimes : for I tell thee if thou withstandest and tightest 
against him betimes, certainly thou shalt find him most weak ; 
but if thou sufferest him to enter into thy heart, and hath a 



376 



The Seventh Sermon 



delight in his motions, tunc actum est, then thou art undone ; 
then he hath gotten the victory over thee. And here it is to 
be noted, that the devil hath no further power than God will 
allow him ; the devil can go no further than God permitteth 
him to do : which thing shall strengthen our faith, insomuch 
that we shall be sure to overcome him. 

St Paul, that excellent instrument of God, saith, Qui 
volunt ditescere, incident in inultas tentationes ; "They that 
go about to get riches, they shall fall in many temptations : " 
in which words St Paul doth teach us to beware. For when 
we go about to set our minds upon this world, upon riches, 
then the devil will have a fling at us. Therefore, let us not 
set our hearts upon the riches of this world, but rather let 
us labour for our living ; and then let us use prayer : then 
we may be certain of our living. Though we have not 
riches, yet a man may live without great riches : Habentes 
vie turn et vestitufn, &c., " When we have meat, and drink, 
and clothing, let us be content," let us not gape for riches; 
for I tell you it is a dangerous thing to-have riches. And 
they that have riches must make a great account for them : 
yea, and the most part of the rich men use their riches so 
naughtily and so wickedly, that they shall not be able to 
make an account for them. And so you may perceive how 
the devil useth the good creatures of God to our own de- 
struction : for riches are good creatures of God, but you see 
daily how men abuse them ; how they set their hearts upon 
them, forgetting God and their own salvation. Therefore, 
as I said before, let not this affection take place in your 
hearts, to be rich. Labour for thy living, and pray to God, 
then he will send thee things necessary : though he send not 
great riches, yet thou must be content withal ; for it is better 
to have a sufficient living than to have great riches. There- 
fore Salomon, that wise king, desired of God that he would 
send him neither too much, nor too little : not too much, 
lest he should fall into proudness, and so despise God ; not 
too little, lest he should fall to stealing, and so transgress 
the law of God. 

Sed libera nos a malo : " But deliver us from evil." 
This evil, the writers take it for the devil ; for the devil is 
the instrument of all ill ; like as God is the fountain of all 
goodness, so the devil is the original root of all wickedness. 
Therefore when we say, " deliver us from evil," we desire 
God that he will deliver us from the devil and all his crafts, 



On the Lord's Prayer 377 

subtilties, and inventions, wlierewith he intendeth to hurt us. 
And we of our ownselves know not what might let or stop us 
from everlasting Ufe : therefore we desire him that he will 
deliver us from all ill ; that is to say, that he will send us 
nothing that might be a let or impediment unto us, or keep 
us from everlasting felicity. As for ensample : There be 
many which when they be sick, they desire of God to have 
their health ; for they think if they might have their health 
they would do much good, they would live godly and up- 
rightly. Now God sendeth them their health ; but they by 
and by forget all their promises made unto God before, and 
fall unto all wickedness, and horrible sins : so that it had 
been a thousand times better for them to have been sick still, 
than to have their health. For when they were in sickness 
and affliction, they called upon God, they feared him ; but 
now they care not for him, they despise and mock him. 
Now therefore, lest any such thing should happen unto us, 
we desire him " to deliver us from evil ; " that is to say, to 
send us such things which may be a furtherance unto us to 
eternal felicity, and take away those things which might 
lead us from the same. There be some, which think it is a 
gay thing to avoid poverty, to be in wealth, and to live 
pleasantly : yet sometimes we see that such an easy life 
giveth us occasion to commit all wickedness, and so is an 
instrument of oiir damnation. Now therefore, when we say 
this prayer, we require God, that he will be our loving 
Father, and give us such things which may be a furtherance 
to our salvation ; and take away those things which may 
let us from the same. 

Now you have h.eard the Lord's Prayer, which is, as I 
told you, the abridgment of all other prayers, and it is the 
store-house of God. For here we shall find all things neces- 
sary both for our souls and bodies. Therefore I desire you most 
heartily to resort hither to this store-house of God : seek here 
what you lack ; and no doubt you shall find things necessary 
for your wealth. 

In the Gospel of Matthew there be added these words : 
Quia tuum est regnwii, et potentia, et gloria, in secula 
seculorum ; " For thine is the kingdom, the power, and 
the glory, world without end. Amen." These words are 
added .not without cause ; for like as we say in the be- 
ginning, " Our Father," signifying that he will fulfil our 



378 



The Seventh Sermon 



request, so at the end we conclude, saying, " Thine is the 
power, &c." signifying, that he is able to help us in our 
distress, and to grant our requests. And though these be 
great things, yet we need not to despair; but -consider that 
he is Lord over heaven and earth, that he is able to do for 
us, and that he will do so, being our Father and being 
Lord and king over all things. Therefore let us often 
resort hither, and call upon him with this prayer, in our 
Christ's name : for he loveth Christ, and all those which are 
in Christ ; for so he saith. Hie est Filius mens dilectus, in 
quo mihi bene complacitum est; "This is my well-beloved 
Son, in whom I have pleasure." Seeing then that God 
hath pleasure in him, he hath pleasure in the prayer that 
he hath made : and so when we say this prayer in his name, 
with a faithful penitent heart, it is not possible but he will 
hear us, and grant our requests. And truly it is the greatest 
comfort in the world to talk with God, and to call upon 
him, in this prayer that Christ himself hath taught us ; for 
it taketh away the bitterness of all afflictions. Through 
prayer we receive the Holy Ghost, which strengtheneth and 
comforteth us at all times, in all trouble and peril. 

Quia tuuin est regnum, et potentia, et gloria ; " For 
thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory." The king- 
dom of God is general throughout all the world; heaven 
and earth are under his dominion. As for the other kings, 
they are kings indeed, but to God-ward they be but deputies, 
but officers. He only is the right king ; unto him only must 
and shall all creatures in heaven and earth obey, and kneel 
before his majesty. Therefore have this 'ever in your hearts, 
what trouble and calamities soever shall fall upon you for 
God's word's sake. If you be put in prison, or lose your 
goods, ever say in your hearts, Tuum est regnum ; " Lord 
God, thou only art ruler and governor ; thou only canst and 
wilt help and deliver us from all trouble, when it pleaseth 
thee ; for thou art the king to whom all things obey." For, 
as 1 said before, all the other kings reign by him, and 
through him, as scripture witnesseth ; Per me reges regnant, 
"Through me kings rule." To say this prayer with good 
faith and penitent heart is a sacrificium laudis, "a sacri- 
fice of thanksgiving." We were wont to have Sacrificium 
missiB, " The sacrifice of the mass ; " which was the most 
horrible blasphemy that could be devised, for it was against 
the dignity of Christ and his passion ; but this sacrifice of 



On the Lord's Prayer 379 

thanksgiving every one may make, that calleth with a 
faithful heart upon God in the name of Christ. 

Therefore let us at all times, without intermission, offer 
unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving ; that is to say, let us 
at all times call upon hi